Publish date17 May 2024 - 15:00
Story Code : 635596

South African university students join global protest on campuses in solidarity with Palestine

The global students' protest, which began in the US and then spread to several campuses across Europe, reached South Africa on Thursday when dozens of students at the prestigious University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg set up camps in solidarity with the Palestinians, who are facing an intensified onslaught from the Israeli army in attacks on the Gaza Strip.
South African university students join global protest on campuses in solidarity with Palestine

Several tents have been set up on the main campus library lawns, where several pro-Palestinian students have gathered, with some university alumni joining them in support of the students' protest.
Students waving Palestinian flags and carrying placards calling for a cease-fire and an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories marched to the university senate, where officials were holding a meeting.
Zakaria Radaideh, a postgraduate student and one of the protest leaders, told Anadolu that they want the university to fully disclose its relationships with Israel and Israel-aligned institutions and companies.

They also want the university to enforce an academic boycott of Israel, divest from companies that support Israel, and issue a public statement of solidarity with Palestine.
Hannah Khan, one of the protest organizers, told Anadolu that they hoped to persuade the university senate to approve a cease-fire in Palestine, as well as the elimination of mid-year academic and financial exclusions.
Imaan Mathee, another mobilizer, told Anadolu, "We were inspired by the mobilization of US universities, but I would say that our encampment is more peaceful because we recognize that our stance reflects the stance taken by our government."
Mathee vowed that the encampment would continue until the student demands are met.
Students also want the university to stop censoring and intimidating pro-Palestinian groups and activities on campus.
In protests that began at Columbia University in the US in April and spread around the world, students condemned Israel's attacks on civilians in Gaza and demanded that school administrations stop supporting the genocide of the Palestinian people.
Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.
More than 35,200 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 79,200 others injured since last October following a Hamas attack.
More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.
Israel is accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.
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