The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) strongly condemns the recent acts of violence carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza strip, which has led to the deaths of over 60 Palestinians with over 2000 others wounded.
Over the last few weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been peacefully protesting as part of a larger movement calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were forcibly removed during the operations of the occupation. Recent protests coincide with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem which, in and of itself, carries ideological underpinnings of supremacy which must be strongly critiqued and condemned. Given the discriminatory, hateful and inhumane operations of the Israeli state, the South African government has recalled Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect. This is a move that we, as an organisation, fully support, in hopes of fostering greater South African allegiance and solidarity with the Palestinian cause and the fight for positive peace. 

We realise that these recent events should not be condemned in isolation from the everyday violence that comes with existing under an Apartheid state. Throughout the 70 years of occupation, Palestinian people have been stripped of the fundamental human right to self-determine while being subjected to an oppressive system of ‘’separateness’’, like that of the South African Apartheid regime.
Struggle icon, Mam Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, throughout her activism, stressed that South Africa cannot be free without the freedom of the Palestinians. She further encouraged the idea that Apartheid Israel could be defeated just as Apartheid South Africa was defeated. 

It is in this breath that we, at the IJR, join the international call for an end to ongoing violence at the hands of the Israeli state. The routine actions of the Israeli armed forces continue to threaten any prospects of positive peace and justice. We, therefore, call upon state actors, activists, members of civil society and South Africans, at large, to intensify the fight against oppression and the inhumane system of Israeli Apartheid.

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Samantha Kambule ( )

Photo by Ahmed Abu Hameeda on Unsplash