8 December 2023

Following a meeting with a visiting Palestinian Christian delegation, the Secretary-General of Pan African Women’s Organization (PAWO), Pinky Kekana, has undertaken to lead an African women’s solidarity trip to Palestine. 

The trip, planned for a few months from now, will include representatives from various regions of the African continent. “The liberation movements of the African continent owe the people of Palestine unconditional support and solidarity in the struggle against Israeli Apartheid. The Palestinians were a crucial ally in our anti-colonial struggles across this continent, they are our comrades” said Kekana.

The delegation that met with PAWO included Dr Rifat Kasis of the Lutheran Church, Father Jamal from the Catholic Church and Muna Nasser, a Palestinian youth activist, from the Greek Orthodox Church. Also present were representatives of the SA Council of Churches and members of the international BDS boycott of Israel movement.

The delegation shared information on the Israeli regime’s racism, abuse and oppression against Palestinians. “Palestinians of all creed are subjected to the highest form of oppression,” they explained.

 During the engagement, Father Jamal, from the Holy Town of Bethlehem, explained that “the abuse meted out by the Israeli regime against Palestinians in the Christian community is the same as the oppression that our fellow Muslim Palestinians face – our only crime being that we are born Palestinian.”

Muna Nasser, also from Bethlehem, stated that: “People should not confuse the Biblical Land of Israel and the Modern State of Israel, these are mutually exclusive and the Israeli regime uses the latter for propaganda purposes.”

The meeting took place less than a week after Israel has passed its controversial “Nation-State Law” which explicitly privileges Jewish people over the non-Jewish natives. We hope that the upcoming PAWO African women’s solidarity trip continues to re-energize the relationship between us African women and the righteous struggle of the Palestinians.

If the African continent and the global community does not rise to the occasion and defend civilians from the Israeli regime, we may be guilty of enabling ethnic cleansing. Africans and the international community have a responsibility to express itself on the oppression and murder of the people of Palestine.

The Secretary-General also took the opportunity to brief the Palestinian delegation on some of the challenges women face on the continent. The Palestinian delegation discussed forms of future cooperation and undertook to support PAWO in upcoming campaigns and endeavor’s.

Meanwhile Ms Kekana has sent her condolences to the family of the 15 year-old-Palestinian child, Arkan Thaer Mazhar, from the Holy Town of #Bethlehem, who was killed on Monday by Israel. According to Defence for Children International, Israel has, killed at least 30 Palestinian children so far this year.

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