Pro-Palestine supporters stage protest outside Zionist Federation
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Johannesburg - Hundreds of pro-Palestine supporters gathered in protest outside the SA Zionist Federation in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The protest was organised by the youth of Voice for Justice, a pro-Palestine organisation as well as the Palestine Solidarity Alliance.
The aim of the protest was to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people who have been killed, injured and displaced by the recent bombings in Gaza.
The bombings were the result of rockets fired by Israel towards Gaza, Palestine. Hamas also retaliated by firing rockets towards Israel. The effects of the bombings have largely impacted Palestinians with thousands of people displaced, dead and injured.
The Zionist Federation is a pro-Israel organisation that works to promote the country's cultural and religious efforts around the world.
Muaawiyah Cassim, a young organiser of the protest, they were taking to the streets to highlight the plight of Palestinians.
"What is happening in Palestine is a humanitarian crisis, it is not a religious crisis. That is why we are fighting for innocent women and children that are getting killed. It's racism, they think it is okay to just take over people's land," Cassim said.
The protesters, who were dressed mostly black and were of varying ages, carried placards and the Palestine flag. They marched outside the Zionist Federation's gates which were blocked with a fence and had heavily armed security.
They chanted "free Palestine" as well as "genocide".
One of the most vocal protesters was human rights lawyer Ziyaad Patel, from the Palestine Solidarity Alliance.
He caught several people's attention as he chanted "we praise every rocket from Palestine". This was a reference to the counter rockets dispatched by Hamas towards Israel.
Patel said Hamas had every right to defend itself. He said the people of Palestine were being unfairly treated and were the victims.
"We also believe that Hamas has a right of resistance, to resist what is going on in occupied Palestine and resistance is an international right. Until Palestine's rights and protection of their rights are respected by Israel, we will continue to fight for the Palestinian cause.