PICS: Thousands come out to support Palestinians and condemn Israel in Cape Town
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Cape Town - 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 on Wednesday.
The protest, which drew thousands of people, was supported by several major political parties, religious organisations and solidarity groups.
At least 49 Palestinians, including 13 children, have been killed due to 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, has been living in Lebanon, bordering the Occupied State, for 60 years now.
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.
Video: Henk Kruger/African News Agency