Protest Vigil for Gaza at SA Department of International Relations calling for Expulsion of Israeli Ambassador
In response to Israel’s self-proclaimed “Operation Protective Edge” assault on the civilian population of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, BDS South Africa is calling an emergency “protest vigil” this Friday (July 11th) to demonstrate against apartheid Israel’s war crimes and atrocities currently being committed against the Palestinians people of Gaza.
The South African Palestine solidarity and human rights organisation BDS South Africa will be holding a solidarity and protest vigil at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) head office in Pretoria/Tshwane tomorrow (Friday, 11 July starting from 13h30 and going on till the evening). BDS South Africa calls on fellow organisations, peace and justice loving peoples and members of the media to join this protest and solidarity vigil.
Protest and solidarity vigil for Gaza
Place: Dept. of International Relations, OR Tambo Building, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Rietondale, Pretoria
Time: Starting 13h30 till 6pm
The solidarity and protest vigil (which will be supported by various partner organziations) will be calling on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the South African government to immediately withdraw the South African Ambassador in Tel Aviv (Israel) as well as expel the Israeli Ambassador in South Africa (Ambassador Arthur Lenk) – these two actions are the least that our government can do to protest the wanton killing of innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Apartheid regime. Furthermore, South Africa must impose full diplomatic sanctions against Israel until Israel ends its illegal siege on Gaza and its apartheid policies.
As of 10 July 2014 at 08h00, over 90 Palestinians including 18 children, an 84 year old grandmother and 1 journalist were killed by Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. Human rights activists are describing the Israeli attacks as a “massacre”. In one of the most deadliest attacks, Israel killed 7 members of the Kaware family home in Khan Younis including two Palestinian children under the age of 5. In another deadly Israeli attack, 6 members of one family including the father, daughter, two uncle, aunt and grandmother. Two Palestinian brothers, Mohammed Aarif (13) and 12-year-old Amir Aarif were killed in an air strike on Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, while another Israeli air strike in the nearby Zeitun district killed Amina Malaka (27) and her 18-month-old son Mohammed Malaka. Further north, another missile hit Beit Hanun, killing 40-year-old Sahar al-Masri and her 14-year-old son Ibrahim al-Masri.
The Palestinian Gaza Strip is the world’s largest open air prison with over 1,5 million Palestinians caged in and cut off by Israel from the rest of the world. The Palestinian Gaza Strip is the world’s most densely populated piece of land on this earth making the Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Gaza Strip all the more horrendous. The collective punishment and illegal siege by Israel of the Palestinian people of Gaza must immediately end. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has described the Israeli siege and blockade on the Gaza Strip as an: “abomination”.
We must release and express our anger, sadness, and call on our government and leaders to hold apartheid Israel responsible for it’s ongoing colonization, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes against the indigenous Palestinian people.
WE ARE CALLING ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT TO:
1) Immediately recall the South African Ambassador in Tel Aviv;
2) Immediately expel the Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk From South Africa;
3) Heed Palestinian civil society’s — as well as Amnesty International’s — call for a full military embargo on Israel.
4) Implement the decisions of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Durban in 2006 to:
a. ban all products of Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territory, and
b. ban entry of Israeli settlers into South Africa
5) Hold South Africans who have enlisted in the Israeli occupation army accountable to legal prosecution, in accordance with South African laws.
6) Immediately act on the Gaza Docket currently lodged with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) which names several South Africans who served in the previous Israeli massacre in Gaza in 2009.
7) Issue guidelines to South African citizens and businesses, in line with but hopefully with a higher ceiling than, the guidelines that have been issued by 17 European governments, including Germany, to discourage any support for Israel’s occupation and illegal colonies.
8) Adopt ethical and international law guidelines that exclude international corporations complicit in Israeli violations of international law including Caterpillar, G4S, Veolia, among others, from public contracts.