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South African police break up clashes between anti and pro-Israel protestors

April 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm

The South African police intervened on Sunday to prevent clashes between two rallies in the capital of Johannesburg, one organised by pro-Palestine supporters and the other by pro-Israel supporters, Anadolu news agency reported.

The South Africa Zionist Federation called for the pro-Israel rally in Huddle Park in Linksfield to show solidarity and support for Israel.

However, the Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, which called for the pro-Palestine response, described the pro-Israel rally as “a celebration of death and destruction” and held a counter protest outside the entrance of the venue holding the rally.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Jessica Sherman, said: “We are proud Jews ourselves. Our conscience opposes this celebration of the war on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

She added that, “I will not stand silent in the face of such a morally abhorrent incident.”

Clashes between the two protests erupted when the pro-Israel supporters waved Israeli flags provocatively in front of the pro-Palestinian supporters, prompting a small group of them to cross the street and quarrel with the pro-Israel demonstrators.

However, the police intervened and stopped them.

Sherman stressed the important of peace and justice, saying “We pray for a long ceasefire between the Israeli army and the Palestinian factions in Gaza and an end to the on-going violence,” adding that, “We hope for a long-term peace in Israel and Palestine, which can only be achieved through compassion, justice, negotiations and real dialogue.”

The Israeli army launched on Sunday morning an artillery bombardment against an UNRWA school in the city of Rafah, in the south of Gaza, which was sheltering hundreds of displaced Palestinians, killing ten of them and wounding dozens more.

The Israeli aggression in Gaza, since its inception on 7 July, has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, injuring 9,370 more.

Meanwhile, Israel says that 64 soldiers and three civilians, including a Thai worker, have been killed and more than 530 wounded, mostly citing cases of panic.

However, the Ezzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, claims it has killed 161 Israeli soldiers and captured another.