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By Citizen Reporter


Palestinian deaths prompt SA protest march

Amnesty International has condemned the attack by Israeli forces on Palestinians in Gaza, while BDS SA will be hosting a march in Cape Town.

Human rights and Palestine solidarity movement BDS South Africa (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa) has called on South Africans to come out in their masses today in a protest march to condemn the killing yesterday of 43 Palestinians by the Israeli Defence Force.

The deaths came as a result of protests at the border fence between the Gaza strip and Israel, on the day the US made good on its commitment to relocate its embassy to the heavily contested city of Jerusalem.

The embassy move also preceded yesterday’s celebrations of the 70th year of Israel’s founding, known throughout the Arab world as the Nakba, or catastrophe.

In a statement released yesterday, BDS South Africa said: “What has happened today, the Israeli killing of 52 Palestinians – including children – can only be described as a massacre.”

Amnesty International echoed BDS SA.

“This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way,” the organisation said in a statement on its website. “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings, constituting war crimes.”

In an apparent foreshadowing of yesterday’s events, Israel’s Embassy in South Africa released a statement yesterday morning warning that Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, would incite people to protest and attempt to bring down the wall between Gaza and Israel.

They claimed Hamas would hope for mass casualties and death, in order to garner international support and outcry against Israel.

But in response to the violence, BDS SA has called on the South African government “to take decisive action, starting with the recall of our ambassador in Israel, the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in South Africa, the implementation of the ruling party’s conference resolution for the ‘immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA embassy in Israel’ and for state-level sanctions to be applied against Israel.”

They also asked the public to join today’s march from Keizergracht to parliament in Cape Town.

Citizen reporter

Also read: SA withdraws ambassador to Israel after Gaza attack

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