CALL TO ACTION: Thousands of people participated in the Great March of Return demonstration to Parliament on Tuesday calling for an end to the 
deadly attacks on Palestinians at the border of Gaza. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Thousands took to the streets of Cape Town to march in solidarity with Palestine after Israeli forces shot and killed at least 55 Palestinians on Monday and injured more than 2000 people.

On Tuesday, several pro-Palestine organisations, along with the Muslim Judicial Council and the South African Jews for Palestinians, marched to Parliament to call on the government to recall the South African ambassador to Israel.

“It was a massacre on Tuesday, a bloodbath, children as young as 16 were killed. We are here to voice our condemnation and anger towards the Israeli apartheid regime,” national co-ordinator of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign Muhammed Desai said.

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Desai said the demonstration was not organised “as a favour, but instead as a duty. We are here to stand shoulder to shoulder with Palestine to send a clear message for the immediate downgrade of the SA embassy in Israel”.

Protesters also showed their disapproval at the United States moving their embassy to Jerusalem.

CALL TO ACTION: Thousands of people participated in the Great March of Return demonstration to Parliament on Tuesday calling for an end to the 
deadly attacks on Palestinians at the border of Gaza. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
CALL TO ACTION: Thousands of people participated in the Great March of Return demonstration to Parliament on Tuesday calling for an end to the 
deadly attacks on Palestinians at the border of Gaza. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Tuesday also marked the 70th anniversary of Nakba, when hundreds of thousands were expelled or fled amid the creation of Israel in 1948.

Among those who joined the march was ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who gave the ANC’s position.

“It is our view that South Africa cannot be friendly with people who break the arms of political prisoners, we cannot be friendly with people who kill children shamelessly,” she said.

“We have instructed our government to downgrade our relationship with Israel. The next step, of course, is to kick out the Israeli ambassador,” Duarte said.

ANC Western provincial leader Faiez Jacobs said: “We are calling for the immediate downgrade of the Israeli embassy and we are saying to government that this is another Sharpeville massacre unfolding,” said Jacobs.

Comedian Yaaseen Barnes gets serious to explain why he decided to partake in the march supporting Palestine. Shot by: Marvin Charles, Edited by: Theolin Tembo.

A memorandum was given Nelson Mandela’s grandson and MP, Mandla Mandela to hand over to parliament.

“In light of the high number of casualties, especially in Gaza, I am appealing for relief and humanitarian aid agencies, especially those in South Africa, to respond with assistance of especially medical supplies as they are running dangerously low. This is due to the number of Palestinians killed,” Mandela said.

He said he anticipated the number of killings to be higher “in the coming days”.

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Cape Argus