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ANC: Statement by Jessie Duarte, ANC Deputy Secretary General, on the situation in the Gaza Strip (10/07/2014)

10th July 2014

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The African National Congress (ANC),condemns in the strongest terms, the barbaric attacks on the defenceless Palestinian people of Gaza. Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza strip have resulted in the deaths of over 27 Palestinians, at least 6 of them children. The Israeli attacks have further resulted in injuring over 200 Palestinians and traumatising thousands of others.

As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of he atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel has the term "lest we forget" lost it meaning? The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps. Of course the killing of any child irrespective of race, color or creed must be condemned and the death of two Israeli young people is surely as senseless as any other death. But for the State of Israel, the notion of an eye for an eye has become perpetual massacre with merciless revenge which has lasted for more than 60 years. It is time to stop the killing now.

The recent attacks must cease as well as the ongoing and illegal Israeli occupation and collective Israeli punishment of the Palestinians. Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison with over 1,5-million Palestinians caged in and cut off from the rest of the world. The 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 of the Palestinian people of Gaza must immediately end.

In line with our 2012 policy resolutions, that called on "all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel", branches and structures of the ANC across the country will be joining the Palestine solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in organizing protests and pickets calling for the immediate end of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. We call on all South Africans, Black, White, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others to join us in expressing our solidarity. Solidarity will brings us together as different South Africans just as how the international anti-apartheid movement brought people together.

The Israeli regime must realise that its acts of violence like these attacks on Gaza will only lead to its international isolation. After its 2009 attacks on Gaza which resulted in over 1 400 Palestinians being killed, more than 400 of them children, the BDS and international isolation of Israel increased exponentially. Apartheid South Africa's
wanton killing of our people during the 1980s lead to its isolation, it would seem that Israel is taking a similar path of isolation by embarking on these attacks.

The ANC reiterates its 2012 policy position that as an organisation we are unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in our view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.

Issued by the ANC

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