WATCH | People take to the streets across SA in solidarity with Palestine

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  • Residents in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg gathered at various locations to picket in solidarity with Palestinians. 
  • The SA BDS Coalition is calling for the government to impose sanctions on Israel.
  • It is also calling on people to boycott Israeli products and companies, in support of the Palestinian people. 

In Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, residents gathered at various locations to show solidarity with Palestinian people.

In Durban, protesters joined civil society organisations, People Against Oppression and the South African Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Coalition (SA BDS Coalition) at the Point Beach promenade.

Johannesburg residents staged a protest outside the Zionist Federation.

TIMELINE | Deadly clashes in Gaza and Jerusalem

SA BDS Coalition spokesperson Roshan Dadoo told News24 the pickets were an essential show of solidarity and a way to keep pressure on the government to act against Israel.

"The cease-fire can be better described as a lull in the slaughter of Gaza. However, we felt it was important to celebrate that the Palestinians had, in effect, caused Israel to stop its current bombardment."

Memorandum handover

The Durban protesters handed a memorandum of demand to the mayor's office. 

The SA BDS Coalition also wrote an open letter to International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, calling on the government to impose sanctions on Israel and to cut all diplomatic and trading ties with the country. 

"That is what the international community did to South Africa during apartheid, and it helped us so much in our struggle. It supported the struggle of the people on the ground," Dadoo said.

palestine,palestine and israel conflict,dirco,sanc
A March in solidarity with Palestine at Durban Beach promenade, South Africa.

"We want to keep the pressure on Israel and our government. We have seen our government shifting and taking a stronger stand in support of the Palestinians. Hopefully, they will take the measures we are asking," she said. 

On 10 May, hundreds of Palestinians were wounded after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Masjid in Jerusalem. Rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades were used on worshippers. 

Palestinians were also evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, in east Jerusalem, to make way for Israeli settlers, according to reports.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described the conflict in the region as being reminiscent of the apartheid era in South Africa.

In addition to the call for sanctions, SA BDS Coalition called on the public to boycott Israeli goods and companies.

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