Ship raid 'Israel's Sharpeville'

2010-05-31 15:52
Cape Town – The Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa (PSCSA) has called Monday morning's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship "Israel's Sharpeville".

It said the incident could prove to be a defining moment in the decades-long conflict between Palestine and Israel.

"This is Israel's Sharpeville," the organisation said, likening the event to the March 1960 massacre of 69 people by apartheid police in the South African township of Sharpeville that brought international attention and action against the government at the time.

The organisation said the "boat massacre", in which more than 19 pro-Palestinian activists are believed to have been killed, shows an increasing desperation from Israel.

"The desperation of the oppressor is an indication of the beginning of freedom for the oppressed," it said.

SA government action


The committee has also called on the South African government to act against Israel's "crime against humanity and a violation of international law".

"The PSCSA is calling on the South African government to first call in Israel's ambassador to South Africa and reprimand him, second; for him to be sent back to Israel and third; for South Africa to withdraw our ambassador in Tel Aviv," said the PSCSA.

"The only intention of the ships and passengers on board was to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," it said.

Israel imposed the embargo after Hamas took over Gaza in 2006, saying it feared that arms would reach the area. This has left the communities in the area in desperate need of medicines, fuel, machinery and other goods.

The South African government, which is investigating the possibility that a South African may have been on board one of the vessels, has called the incident "a gross violation of international law and is deserving of the highest level of international condemnation". It was however not immediately available to say whether or not it would consider cutting diplomatic ties with Israel.

SA Zionist Federation defends Israel

Meanwhile, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) came out in defence of Israel, saying the ships were headed to Gaza only "on a pretext of breaking the blockade".

It pointed to the presence of pistols on the ship, which some activists reportedly used during the raid, and said there was evidence that there were more arms on the ship.

The federation said it was confident that Israel had broken no laws in the raid after it consulted an international law expert.

It said a "state in a time of conflict had a right to impose an embargo" and that that state also has the right to detain a civilian ship that tries to break that embargo, even in international waters.

Israel had warned to the multi-national aid flotilla organised by the Free Gaza Movement not to attempt the trip prior to it setting sail for Gaza on Saturday in defiance of the embargo. Israel had given the activists the option of handing over the aid to it, so that it could facilitate a transfer.

"Israel has not broken the law. It was trying to defend itself," the federation said.

- Follow Hlengiwe Mnguni on Twitter
 
Read more on:    sazf  |  palestine  |  israel  |  gaza ship raid  |  middle east peace
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.