South Africa march demands a permanent Gaza cease-fire on day of solidarity with Palestinians

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Members of South African political parties, civil society organisations and other supporters marched through the streets of Johannesburg on Wednesday demanding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza as they marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Rival political parties including the ruling African National Congress and the leftist opposition Economic Freedom Fighters were among the scores of demonstrators who marched across the Nelson Mandela Bridge to protest against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza against Hamas.

Several other protests were planned around South Africa, where many including President Cyril Ramaphosa have compared Israel’s policies in Gaza and the West Bank with South Africa's past apartheid regime of racial segregation.

Veteran anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils called for the boycott and isolation of Israel over the current war.

“All over the world, millions and millions are coming out and saying no, no, no. We will boycott and isolate Israel until it hurts them, and we stand by the Palestinian people fully, in our total support,” Kasrils told the crowd.

Last week, a majority of South African lawmakers voted in favor of a motion calling for the closure of Israel's embassy and the suspension of diplomatic relations. It came after Israel recalled its ambassador to South Africa following remarks by South African leaders who accused Israel of committing genocide and referred Israel’s attacks on Gaza to the International Criminal Court.


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