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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Zara ad mocking Gaza deaths sparks protests at Sandton store

The campaign featured mannequins with missing body parts and statues wrapped in white resembling photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.

As Israel continues to pummel Gaza, Pro-Palestine protestors brought trading at the Zara store in Sandton City to a standstill in a peaceful protest on Saturday after an advertising campaign mocking Palestinians caused a global storm.

The campaign which has since been withdrawn, featured mannequins with missing body parts and statues wrapped in white. Critics said they resembled photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.

Zara, the Spanish-owned retail clothing giant has since apologised and removed the distasteful campaign from its website and social media platforms as the death toll in Gaza nears 19 000 from Israel’s relentless bombardment of the enclave.

Watch pro-Palestine protestors at Zara store:


Activists attired in black, to symbolize mourning and resistance, said the advertising campaign mocked the current situation in Gaza.

Their primary insistence was for Zara to promptly revise and correct its marketing approach, ensuring it reflects genuine respect for the Palestinian situation.

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Specific demands laid out to Zara by the protestors included a rapid acknowledgment of the campaign’s insensitivity, an immediate public apology, the swift removal of the contentious marketing materials, direct support for the Gaza conflict victims, mandatory cultural sensitivity training for their staff, and a commitment to transparent, ethical marketing going forward.

Local resident Fatima Mohamed, representing the community’s firm resolve to hold Zara accountable, emphasized their readiness to escalate actions if the company failed to respond appropriately.

“We will continue to monitor Zara’s response and actions.

“Further measures will be contemplated to ensure that companies like Zara adhere to ethical and sensitive marketing practices. We are determined to make our voices heard as we stand together to β€˜Reject Israeli War Glamour’.”

Zara said it regrets the misunderstanding and β€œreaffirmed deep respect towards everyone.”

Journalist killed

Meanwhile, Dozens of journalists have taken part in a funeral for Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa who was killed in an Israeli strike in the south of Gaza.

Daqqa’s body, bearing his bullet-proof vest and helmet, was carried through a crowd in the city of Khan Younis before being buried on Saturday in a grave dug by fellow journalists.

He was reporting from a school in Khan Younis when he was hit by a drone strike on Friday, said Al Jazeera

Dahdouh had lost his wife and two children in a separate Israeli strike in the initial weeks of the war.

At least 18,787 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel stands at about 1,200.

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