World Bulletin/News Desk
Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at a park in Johannesburg to show solidarity with the people of the blockaded Gaza Strip and raise funds for victims of the ongoing Israeli onslaught on the coastal enclave.
"I donated to the cause because I feel the pain that people are going through in Gaza," resident Aisha Mohammed told Anadolu Agency at the event.
Two community organizations, the Greater Mayfair Civic Association and Greater Mayfair Safety and Security Association (GMSS), held a fund-raising drive in various suburbs of the city before the main solidarity event kick off at Jubileum Park in Mayfair.
Mohammed said she hopes her donation will help someone affected by the Israeli war on Gaza.
"I am grateful to the organizers of this event because we cannot just keep praying for Gaza without helping them financially," she asserted.
Since July 7, Israeli army launched devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.
At least 1047 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6000 others injured in the Israeli attacks.
Over the same period, at least 45 Israelis – including 42 soldiers and three civilians – have also been killed.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.
South African volunteers were seen standing next to traffic lights and road intersections asking motorists to donate for Palestinian victims.
"All proceeds will be handed over to representatives of the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA), Al-Quds Foundation, BDS-South African and Jamiatul Ulama South Africa who will ensure that the moneys are distributed to the victims of the latest Zionist onslaught on Gaza," Abdurrahman Ricky, the GMSS chairperson, told AA.
On Saturday a convoy of vehicles drove through various suburbs of Johannesburg flying Palestinian flags.
Motorists hooted as they headed to the Jubileum Park in Mayfair were the solidarity event was held.
A group of bikers also rode for the Palestinian cause.
"May Allah help free the people of Palestine," Basra Amina, a Somali national residing in Johannesburg, told AA.
"I am a mother and I feel the pain that my fellow mothers go through on a daily basis in Gaza," she said.
Several speakers addressed the gathering, including Bassam Elhussiny, the first Secretary of the Palestinian Embassy.
He said systematic Israeli aggressions against Palestinians, their cities, villages and holy places were aimed at denying the Palestinians their right to a sovereign, independent state.
The envoy thanked the South African government, civil society groups and the general public for their overwhelming support for the Palestinian cause.
Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Secretary General of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa, also addressed the gathering.
"We in South Africa feel what the Palestinians go through with a high degree because we were victims of apartheid," he said.
South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to stop its crippling military offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip.
He also called on Palestinian resistance faction Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israeli cities.
South African activists have held several protests across the country since the Israeli offensive began on July 7.
The ruling African National Congress has denounced the Israeli onslaught, urging South Africans to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2014, 10:47