The National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) has issued a call for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, following the states nearly four week military operation on the Gaza Strip. Nearly 1200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed as a result of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the coalition expressed outrage at those in support of the apartheid Israel, as well as those justifying and benefiting from Israel’s military operation. The group, which compromises various human rights and religious groups, civil society and political formations, also expressed its solidarity for the effected Gazan population, calling for justice, equality and freedom in the troubled region.
“The concern we communicate today is not only with the current cycle of violence against the Palestinian people, but the ending of the ongoing illegal occupation and other injustices against Palestine by apartheid Israel,” read the statement.
The statement highlighted the brutal injustices suffered by the Palestinian population since the 1948 Nakbah, condemning the violent nature of Israel’s continued attempts to occupy Palestinian territory. They described the military operations as ‘barbaric’, calling the issue a severe humanitarian crisis.
They also expressed deep concern over the ‘rather lame, tepid and timid responses that have emerged from our government thus far on the matter’. The NC4P emphasised the responsibility of the South African government to act on the issue, as the country represented a nation born out of international solidarity with its struggle for freedom.
“Every single veteran of our country’s liberation struggle, including many leaders currently serving in Cabinet, who have ever been to Palestine have returned and proclaimed that life in the shadow of or under the apartheid Israeli regime is much worse than life under South African Apartheid had ever been,” according to the statement.
They further accused government of making halfhearted statements about addressing the issue, including promises to send a delegation to mediate a solution, calling the Israeli ambassador to explain his countries actions, and inviting the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass to the country at an unspecified date. They said none of those measures were being taken seriously.
They called on government to take various steps against Israel. this included the immediately recalling of the countries ambassador to Israel, the expulsion of Israeli Ambassador Aurthur Lenk from South Africa, the implementation of full economic sanctions and a military embargo on Israel, as well as holding South Africans enlisted in the Israeli occupation army accountable for prosecution.
The statement was signed by various local bodies and organizations including Cosatu, the ANCYL, Media Review Network, the Muslim Judicial Council, BDS South Africa, and the SA Communist Party amongst others. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)