The Star Late Edition

Thousands protest against Israel


CALLS for the downgradin­g or closure of the Embassy of Israel and to implement a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel were cheered during a protest in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Al Quds foundation led the mass peaceful protest from Hanover Street to Parliament in Cape Town yesterday.

The protest, which drew thousands of people, was supported by several major political parties, religious organisati­ons and solidarity groups.

Forty-nine Palestinia­ns, including 13 kids, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. Hamas retaliated by firing rockets into Israel, killing six people.

A sea of Palestinia­n flags trailed behind the flat-bed truck used during annual Palestine solidarity rallies, leading protesters, with the Newfields Primary School brigade marching ahead.

The protest comes a day after nearly 1 000 people gathered at Parliament in support of the people of Palestine, organised by the Palestine solidarity campaign.

Clad in traditiona­l Palestinia­n dress, Soraya Gabier, 80, had been living in Lebanon, bordering the Occupied State, for 60 years.

Gabier said: “The Palestinia­n life in the eyes of not the Jew, but Israeli, is worthless, and they consider that anyone who is not Israeli or a Jew is a slave to them, and this is the way they treat people.

“I was born during apartheid in Cape Town, so I am aware and have lived through these days, so when I see all this, it comes back and it’s painful. We just happened to be here to see the family, and we just had to come to show our support.”

Safoora Sadek said: “I am here in support of the Palestinia­n struggle. I believe that that struggle is a struggle for human rights. Their struggle resembles what we fought before 1994, the kind of apartheid system we fought.”

On behalf of the MJC and the Al Quds foundation, Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels called on the South African government to cut ties with Israel.

Mandla Mandela called on South Africans to gather at the Embassy of Israel on Mandela Day, July 18, calling for its closure. Mandela also called for stronger BDS to against Israel and for the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv to be shut down.

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