Many to attend SA Nakba Day events amid journalist’s killing

By Al Qalam Reporter

As Shireen Abu Akleh, the renowned Palestinian journalist who was assassinated in cold blood by Israeli “terror” forces was laid to rest in Jerusalem today, thousands of people around the world, including in South Africa, are preparing to mark Nakba Day this weekend to demand justice for 74 years of Zionist tyranny.

The fatal shooting dead of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces outside the Jenin Refugee Camp on Wednesday morning has shocked the world, with international calls for justice for her killing.

Her brutal murder in front of other colleagues comes on the eve of Nakba Day (catastrophe) that is observed around the world on May 15 of each year. It marks the day, May 15, 1948, when about 800,000 Palestinians were dispossessed, massacred and expelled from their homeland including the destruction of more than 600 villages by invading Zionists who seized 85% of Palestinian land.


In Pretoria, scores are expected to March to the Israeli Embassy on Saturday morning while in Cape Town, hundreds are expected to attend a Nakba Day gathering at the Castle of Good Hope on Saturday from 2.30pm. The event, hosted by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, will be addressed by many prominent pro-Palestinian activists.

The murder of Abu Akleh has galvanized Palestinians of all factions in the Occupied territories of Palestine and Gaza. News of her assassination was broadcast non-stop by Al Jazeera television, evoking emotions in the hearts of millions across the globe.

With anger and sadness burning in their soul, South Africans are expected to turn out in their hundreds to join the two Nakba protests – one in Pretoria and the other in Cape Town on Saturday – to express their outrage of continued Israeli Occupation and the brutal elimination of so many who were killed because they stood up for justice – the targeted shooting of Abu Akleh was the last straw.

South African human rights group, The Media Review Network (MRN), has condemned the assassination of Abu Akleh by “Israeli Terror Forces.”

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Ahmed Haroon Jazbhay of the Media Review Network said: “Killed in cold blood whilst covering yet another Zionist attack on resistance forces in the Jenin Refugee Camp, this assassination is meant to send a clear intimidatory message to journalists who aim to counter Zionist hasbara.

“It must be noted that there are no clashes in Occupied Palestine. This is a settler colonial entity occupying the land of indigenous Palestinians and those resisting this illegal occupation, including journalists trying to get the truth out.

“The Zionist entity frequently portrays itself as the only democracy in the Middle East yet it daily does everything to ensure the harsh truth about the settler colonial occupation of Palestine is prevented from reaching the global audience,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has condemned the killing of Abu Akleh.

In a media statement, the director-general of DIRCO, Zane Dangor said: “The targeting of journalists in the occupied territories and in conflict zones like Ukraine and Afghanistan appears to be part of a pattern of silencing the free press and is an outright contravention of international law.

“In a situation of occupation, protest action is one of the few ways in which Palestinians can make their voices heard. International human rights law obligates the occupying power to allow for the freedom of expression and protests.”

Dangor added that in other conflict zones, civilians and other non-combatants should be protected, in keeping with the principle of distinction and other protective measures of the Geneva Conventions.

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