After ceasefire, Gazans will need help

Gaza officials are pleading for global international humanitarian aid – and South Africans need to open their hearts and their pockets, writes an Al-Qalam reporter.

In Durban, a peaceful protest march will take place on Sunday at 9am, starting at the corner of Dr Pixley Kaseme & Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street (West & Grey St) proceeding to the Embassy Building in Anton Lembede St (Smith St) .The organizers have urged all to participate. Banners and posters are welcomed.

In the meantime, International players are scrambling to get an agreement done to end the massacre in Gaza, and there is hope that a deal could be signed by the weekend.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas political official, also predicted a ceasefire within days in the Israeli-Gaza escalation.

“I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed,” he told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV. “I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement.”

Pressure on Nethanyahu is mounting from around the world, including from President Ramaphosa who warned Israel to stop the “barbaric attacks on Palestinians”.

Millions of people from around the world have taken to the streets calling for a total boycott of the Israeli regime.

Israeli ship

Meanwhile, right here in Durban, dockworkers in Durban are refusing to offload an Israeli ship named the Zim Shanghai – owned by Israeli state-owned company Zim Lines – that has docked in the port. The action against the ship is part of a global set of actions against Zim Lines.

Members of the South African BDS Coalition, its affiliates and other partner organisations and trade unions will converge on the Durban Esplanade and Durban port today (Friday) to protest the docking of the Israeli ship, and in celebration of the decision by members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) to boycott the offloading of the ship.

The decision by SATAWU and the BDS Coalition follows a call by the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) on workers and trade unions to “refuse to unload [Israeli] ships and goods from sea and airports”. The PGFTU call is one of many actions of boycotts.

Meanwhile, the former South African Ambassador to Palestine, Ashraf Suliman said the situation is alarming for South Africans in Gaza. Speaking in a SABC radio interview, Suliman says every effort is being made to repatriate South Africans.

“It’s extremely difficult and emotionally drenching. There are different rules for South Africans who come to the state of Palestine. There are people who are working here, we have teachers working. At this moment in time, South Africans living in Gaza cannot leave. We have a lady who wants to come back home and we are trying to find ways and mechanisms. Even if we make a recommendation to the Israelis and say, ‘this is a South African citizen living in Gaza and we would like them to come through the Arab checkpoints and take a flight,’ they wouldn’t allow it; period.”

When the dust settles, there is no doubt that Gaza will have to rebuild and local charities are pleading for donations to ease the suffering of thousands of displaced Gazans.

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