Protesters besiege US embassy, demand end to Israeli genocide
A LARGE group of protestors marched to the United States embassy in Harare on Saturday, demanding that Washington pressures Israel to end its genocide in Palestine where it has massacred more than 15 000, mostly women and children, in less than two months in Gaza.
The latest fighting, between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, broke out in October after the militant Palestinian group raided parts of Israel, killing over 1 000, and kidnapping hundreds.
Israel, vowing to annihilate Hamas, has since launched a massive aerial and ground assault on Gaza, killing over 15 000 people and destroying homes and infrastructure.
Organised by the International Socialist Organisation in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Labour Centre and Friends of Palestine Zimbabwe, the protestors brought traffic along Lomagundi Road to a halt as they marched for 2km to the imposing US embassy along Lorraine Drive where they handed over a petition with their demands.
ISO’s Munyaradzi Gwisai, in an address to the crowd, said the march was in solidarity with the people of Palestine and a follow up to a march to the UN offices and those of Britain and the European Union in Harare a fortnight ago.
He said the solidarity marches were being held in support of similar marches elsewhere by people outraged by the genocide in Palestine, and were effective in as far as they have forced the Americans and Israelis to a truce.
“It is America that is financing Israel. As we speak today, America gives Israel US$3,8 billion every year to commit genocide in Palestine, to be its lapdog in the Middle East. But as if that is not enough Comrades, when we met two weeks ago, over 11 000 Palestinians had been murdered in cold blood. Of these over 4 000 were little children. Just in two weeks since we last met, over 15 000 are dead today, two thirds of them are women and children. So Comrades, we have to go and demand from the Americans today that we do not want a truce of two days, we do not want a truce of four days, we want a permanent ceasefire now. We do not just want a permanent ceasefire now, we must address the root cause of this problem and the root cause of this problem is the robbery, is the occupation of Palestine by Israel. We must have a free and independent Palestinian state,” said Gwisai.
The Palestinian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tamer Almassri, also addressed the crowd and chronicled the apartheid Israeli regime’s atrocities against the Palestinian people for more than 75 years.
The petition presented to the USA embassy demanded that the US government stops its support of Israel in its genocidal war on Gaza and the West Bank which has killed over 15 000 people — mainly children and women — injured more than 38 000 and forcibly displaced 1,7 million through the indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, schools, residential areas, water desalination facilities, mosques and churches and denied Palestinians water, food, medicine and fuel.
Despite a resolution for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire of hostilities by an overwhelming majority of nations in the UN General Assembly, the group said it was alarmed that Israel backed by the USA, UK and EU member states has escalated the war which is an affront to international and humanitarian laws and constitute war crimes against humanity.
It applauded the steadfastness of the Palestinian people for their heroic resistance to the colonial apartheid Israeli occupation in order to achieve their legitimate rights, including the establishment of a free and independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital according to international law.
“We fully condemn and denounce Israel’s indiscriminate military bombing and attacks on Palestinian civilians and civilian areas, including hospitals, schools, residential buildings in Gaza and attempted ethnic cleansing and forced displacements of Palestinians which is against international and humanitarian law,” read the protestors’ petition which was received by the head of security at the US Embassy, Mathew Riley.
The petition called for the immediate and unconditional ceasefire by Israel to allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza and ensure the resumption of vital supplies including water, gas, fuel, electricity and basic supplies and guarantee the safety of the press and relief agencies.
It also demanded that Israel be held accountable for its violations of international law, including collective punishment against civilians, blocking humanitarian aid, forced displacements; the bombing of civilian facilities, the use of white phosphorus bombs and the threats to use an atomic bomb in Gaza.
The petition demanded that USA stops with immediate effect the export and supply of military equipment to Israel which is being used to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people.— New Ziana.