Le Cap (AFP)
Hundreds of South Africans rallied against Israeli attacks on Palestinians on Tuesday after at least 28 people were killed in clashes above the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
South Africa openly supports the Palestinian cause with formal diplomatic relations established in 1995, a year after the end of apartheid.
Waving Palestinian green, black, red and white flags, protesters marched through the streets of South Africa’s second largest city, Cape Town, chanting “Free and Free Palestine” and “Down Israel, down”, causing traffic jams .
“People are dying, people are displaced, people are injured and people are treated unfairly, and we have had the same here in South Africa,” said teacher Tasneem Saunders.
It “reminds us of the brutality of the police … of the apartheid system we had,” said Kashiefa Achmat, 56.
Similar protests by a pro-Palestinian South African movement called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions have also taken place in Johannesburg’s affluent Sandton business district.
South Africa is one of 130 countries that recognize Palestine as a sovereign state and downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv in 2019.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday expressed “condemnation by the ruling ANC party, in the strongest terms, of the illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes … and brutal attacks on Palestinian protesters at the Al Aqsa Mosque and at the Dome of the Rock ”.
On the Palestinian side, nine children were among at least 26 people killed in the Gaza Strip and 125 people, while on the Israeli side, rockets killed two women in Ashkelon, sources said.
© 2021 AFP