Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Cape Town recently calling for an end to the violence and massacre of the people in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. The protesters also demanded that the South African government institute sanctions against the Israeli state. The Jewish state has been conducting air strikes against the Palestinian territory, apparently in retaliation for rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel. Around 30000 pro-Palestine demonstrators also called for the expulsion of the Israeli High Commissioner in South Africa. Conveying the trade unions message of support, COSATU Regional Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich condemned the massacres perpetuated by the Israel government against the Palestinians. He said that the attacks on Palestine were unjust and undermines the international rule of law. He urged the South African government to be decisive and act strongly against the Israeli government and its companies who have invested in the country. “As a free people we have a responsibility to speak, and act against any kind of injustice. We must demand that our governments act harshly against Netanyahu and his government. We must call upon our government to cut all ties with Israel; we also have a duty to boycott Israeli products and companies operating in the country especially in the banking sector”, said Ehrenreich.
The Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa, Abdel Hafiz Nofal, also addressed the huge crowd and applauded the South African government for its role in their quest for freedom and independence from the oppression by Israel. The Ambassador also alluded that South Africa has been one of their mostly trusted friends and supporters. “Since this country gained its democracy, the South African government and the people of this country have shown the Palestinianians support. We can rely on its resolute support and encouragement”, He said.
We went to the streets of Khayelitsha to find out people’s views on know what is happening in Palestine and this is what they had to say:
Noluvuyo Makhala ( 32), “ I am not sure what is behind the killing, in fact I don’t know much about what is happening in Palestine”
Mfundo Qwenya ( 32), “ It is clear that Israel is bullying Palestine”.
Avela Hiki ( 29), “ Israel wants to control and dominate Palestine. Palestine produced olive oil and Israel is interested in that. Israel is being backed up by the US. Israel is an apartheid state.”