Israel's barbarity in Palestine similar to the Sharpeville Massacre

Hundreds of people marched on Parliament in Cape Town and the US embassy in Sandton on Tuesday May 15 2018 to protest against a deadly attack by Israeli troops against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Monday.
Hundreds of people marched on Parliament in Cape Town and the US embassy in Sandton on Tuesday May 15 2018 to protest against a deadly attack by Israeli troops against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Monday.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu once said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

The South African government's withdrawal of its ambassador to Israel is commendable.

Once again, we are witnessing the barbarity of the Israeli military as it kills and injures civilians.

The level of death and injury caused by the Israeli occupying forces to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity, for which Israel must be fully held accountable.

Israel's response to the peaceful "March of Return" protest and "US Embassy Move" was to carefully prepare and attack protesters with sniper gunfire, drones, artillery and tear gas. None of the deaths and injuries is accidental. The protesters were deliberately targeted and the scenes are so similar to the Sharpeville Massacre of March 21 1960.

According to international law, an occupying force is responsible for the protection of the civilian population living under its control.

Israel, however, ignores this requirement, routinely committing violations of the Geneva Conventions, a set of principles instituted after World War 2 to ensure that civilians would "never again" suffer as they had under Nazi occupation. Israel is one of the leading violators of these conventions.

Sajida Timol, Overport, Durban

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