The Star Early Edition
IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE
HUNDREDS of people across religious and racial lines donned the keffiyeh, symbolic of Palestinian resistance and solidarity, and waved Palestinian flags, during a demonstration at the gates of Parliament in the Cape Town CBD yesterday.
The demonstration, which drew between 500 and 1 000 people, was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Cape Town (PSC-Cape Town) and supported by several political parties, and religious and solidarity groups.
Addressing demonstrators, PSCCape Town chairperson Martin Jansen said: “The past week has shown a critical situation, but we also know that this is the ongoing daily life of Palestinians every single day for more than 70 years.”
At least 26 Palestinians have been killed, including nine children, by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. About 122 people have been left wounded.
Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem at the weekend, firing rubber-coated rounds, stun grenades and tear gas at worshippers.
Hamas has since retaliated by firing rockets from Gaza towards Israel. This follows Israel illegally evicting families from their homes in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
“This is not simply a conflict. This is not about clashes. This is a colonial occupation by Europeans over 70 nearly 100 years, and what we’re seeing in Palestine is a colonial genocide, and we must call it that; it’s a genocide.”
ANC Youth League member Busisiwe Nxumalo said: “We believe that the illegal occupation by the Israeli government in Palestine is wrong.
“Here in South Africa we ourselves have experienced apartheid, so we sympathise with the people of Palestine, and we want the world to step in and do more, because it feels like institutions such as the UN are not doing much about this. They’re not doing enough to condemn this.”
Behind the banner of SA Jews for a Free Palestine, Judy Favish said: “As Jewish people, we are distancing ourselves from organisations that claim to speak in the name of all Jewish people, because we believe in human rights and believe that Palestinians are entitled to those rights, human rights, which are constantly being violated in the name of the Zionist project and the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, which we cannot support at all.”
Another mass protest will be held at 10am from CPUT to Parliament today.