Johannesburg - The Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) on Tuesday compared an Israel solidarity gathering to a Nazi rally.

“The planned rally evokes images of Nazi Germany and its many supporters who gathered to cheer Hitler and the army on as they wrought death and destruction throughout Europe,” YCLSA spokesman Khaya Xaba said in a statement.

“We advise Zionists to stop the mass murder of Palestinians if they want to avoid the comparisons to Nazis.”

The Zionist Federation of SA said it would hold a march at Huddle Park in Linksfield, Johannesburg, on Sunday.

Chairman Avrom Krengel said the Israel solidarity rally aimed to show support for peace in the Middle East.

“Sunday will see the coming together of South African civil society leaders and their communities from across the spectrum, representing millions of South Africans, as we stand united for peace, Israel’s right to exist, and for the end to terror attacks on Israel’s citizens.”

Agence France-Presse reported that 583 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed in the Gaza conflict since July 8.

The YCLSA criticised the rally's organisers for asking those attending it to bring identity documents along.

“This must be the first rally in South Africa's history that people have to bring their ID books along,” Xaba said.

Asked why this was required, federation spokesman Ben Swarts said: “I understand for security measures.”

Krengel said: “The organisers have noted with concern an increase in neo-Nazi sentiment permeating the debate, and have recorded levels of anti-Semitic racism never before witnessed in South Africa.

“Despite this, overwhelming numbers of South Africans want to see an end to this conflict.”