Pro-Palestinian activists in South Africa are watching developments in the occupied territories closely, as violence spirals out of control. Thirty-two Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in the past two weeks of bloodshed. The Palestinian dead include 10 people armed with knives as well as children and protesters shot in violent demonstrations.
The violence has been triggered in part by Palestinians’ anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is Islam’s holiest site outside Saudi Arabia and is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.
Locally, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign will host a vigil in Cape Town on Friday at St Georges Cathedral.
“From 2.30pm we will stand with placards in a solidarity demonstration to show our abhorrence of the occupation of Palestinian territory and sites, and the violent Israeli response to ongoing protests,” the PSC said in a statement.
The Muslim Judicial Council plans to host Dr Raed Fathi, a historian and graduate of the Aberdeen University of Scotland next week to do a presentation of the effects of the occupation on the Palestinian people and the impact of the Knesset’s plan to outlaw the Islamic Movement.
“The occupation and theft of any land can only be successful if the inhabitants are killed and massacred or driven from their land. Therefore, the illegal establishment of Israel did not happen peacefully. It started with systematic violent phases of massacres by terror groups who were let loose amongst the unsuspecting and hospitable Palestinian people,” said MJC spokesperson Nabeweya Malick.
“Like rabid dogs, groups such as the Irgun and Haganah slaughtered entire villages until they could call every inch of stolen land theirs. Israeli leaders had a mandate to kill, terrorize and drive the people of Palestine off the land. In the words of Ben Gurion, Prime Minister of Israel 1948, “It is impossible to imagine general evacuation without compulsion, and brutal compulsion”.
“It is against this tragic history that we find that the Palestinians continue to suffer the systematic planned skirmishes and provocation that inevitably leads to the death of thousands of Palestinian during every wave of violence in order to maintain the momentum of Israeli extermination of Palestinians.” VOC