SASCO, SACP youth call for immediate closure of Israel Embassy

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The youth from the  South African Students Congress (SASCO) and the South African Communist Party (SACP)  staged a protest outside the Israeli Embassy on Thursday, in Pretoria.

The protesters say the downgrading of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Israel is not sufficient to stop the human rights abuses underway in Gaza.

The student movement wants sanctions imposed on Israel.

Video: SASCO demands Israel Embassy closure

The Israeli attacks on Palestinians have left more than 200 people, mostly women and children, dead and displaced hundreds of others.

Video: Palestinian Councillor to SA speaks about the Israel-Palestine conflict

The students’ body as well as the communist youth wing have vowed to continue with demonstrations if their demands are ignored.

They’ve called for the immediate closure of that country’s embassy in South Africa.

The protest was mainly to display solidarity with the people of Palestine.

SASCO’s Secretary-General, Buthanani Thobela, says they don’t want the Israel embassy for as long as Israel continues killing people.

“Well, we don’t want the embassy here as long as Israel continues killing people. Secondly, we condemn the killing of children, women and men. All humans have the right to life. That is why we are to reject the] killing of people. We reject this embassy being here as long as Israel is not adhering to the right to life of people and freedom.”

Video: Palestine appeals to international community to stop Isreali aggression

Calls for more support for Israel

SACP’s secretary in Greater Tshwane, Daniel Buda, has called for more support for the oppressed people of Palestinians.

“We want to see the people of Palestine being free from the apartheid of Israel. And to send a message to the public to work together to galvanise the support for the people of Palestine.”

Some students from local universities also joined the protest.

“It is important because of what I think of about apartheid, that happened before I was born, and now it’s happening so I should stand up for it,” one student says.

“It’s important for me to be here to show my support for Palestine to call for out Israel for human rights abuse. And also, to hold Israel responsible,” another student says.

SASCO demands Israel Embassy closure:

Caution for SA not to take sides

On the other hand, the South African Zionist Federation has cautioned South Africa not to take sides in dealing with the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

The federation’s Chairperson, Rowan Polovin, says the South African government recognizes and accepts Israel’s legitimacy to exist alongside other nations.

“We believe that the South African government and political organisations recognise and accept Israelis legitimacy and right to exist alongside every nation in the world and the right to defend itself against any rocket attacks on its citizens. If this would happen here, we would expect the South African government to react so we don’t expect a one sided highly biased narrative against Israel.”

The protesters have threatened more action including a mass protest to the presidency in June. They’re calling for an end to the bombing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces.

Analysis on Israel-Palestine conflict: