The Congress of South African Trade Unions totally condemns the brutal and calculated assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin by the Israeli armed forces. This murder of the spiritual leader of Hamas, carried out under the personal order of Prime Minister Sharon, is further proof that the Israeli regime will stop at nothing to deny self-determination, democracy and human rights to the Palestinian people.
The assassination took place as South Africans commemorated Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, an atrocity that shocked the world and revealed the brutality of the apartheid regime. Like Sharpeville, the murder of Yassin, a leader with wide popular support, will be a turning point in the Palestine people’s struggle for independence and human rights. It will only strengthen the resolve of the people to intensify the fight and increase support for their cause around the world and make their victory more certain.
COSATU sends its condolences to the people of Palestine and promises to continue its support for their just demands. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territories, the destruction of the “apartheid wall” and the recognition of Palestine as an independent sovereign state. We also call on the government of the USA and others to condemn the Israeli government’s act of terrorism and withdraw all support from Sharon’s government until he concedes to the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people.