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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Unions, political parties to protest in International Solidarity with Palestinian people

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed nearly 15,000 people, including 10,000 women and children, in more than 50 days.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) will be protesting in solidarity with Palestine amid Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas.

Saftu will be joined by the National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Numsa), Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), BDS South Africa and political parties.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed nearly 15,000 people, including 10,000 women and children, in more than 50 days, making it the deadliest war for the besieged Palestinian enclave to date, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. In Israel, the official death toll stands at 1,200.

Standing with Palestine

Saftu’s spokesperson Trevor Shaku said the union stands with the people of Palestine. The marchers will assemble at 10 am at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, proceed to Mandela Bridge and to the Constitutional Hill in Braamfontein.

“The killing of Palestinians by the Israeli apartheid state did not begin in the aftermath of the 7th of October 2023, but began more than 75 years ago when an Israeli settlement led by the racist Zionists supported by the imperialists was forcefully established in the Palestinian territory,” Shaku said.

Numsa also urged its members to participate in the International Day of Solidarity with the people of Palestine.

ALSO READ: Extension of Israel-Hamas truce a ‘glimpse of hope in the middle of the darkness of war’

Gaza genocide

Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said Numsa has always had a long standing resolution on Palestine.

“We reject the Gaza genocide and we support the demands for sanctions, boycotts and divestments against Apartheid Israel. Israel has wreaked a reign of Terror on Palestinians for more than 70 years. They have stolen land, and jailed innocent women and children without trial.

“Israel has been bombing Gaza for weeks as a form of ethnic cleansing. They must be stopped!  The people of Palestine need our support more now than ever,” Hlubi-Majola said.

Israel hampering aid

Meanwhile, Israeli restrictions on fuel supplies to Gaza are hampering aid deliveries and humanitarian access required under a UN resolution, an EU commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, said on Tuesday.

Lenarcic — who is in charge of crisis management — was speaking as the EU countries and aid organisations scrambled to provide relief to Gaza’s population of 2.3 million under a truce agreed by Israel and Hamas.

“We are calling for the increase of fuel supplies to the (Gaza) strip,” Lenarcic told journalists in Brussels.

“The humanitarian access should be based on the needs and not on some restrictions,” he said.

ALSO READ: Elon Musk defends Israel, says ‘protests in almost every major city troubling

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