The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) express its deepest sympathies and unwavering support for the people of Palestine. We acknowledge the century-old oppression endured by the Palestinian people, initially under the Colonial British Government and subsequently under the rule of the Zionist and Apartheid state of Israel. The Union firmly believes that the path to resolving the current situation in the Middle East lies in the freedom of Palestine and its people. SAMWU stands in solidarity with those striving for justice and the realization of Palestinian self-determination.
Palestine and her people have indeed endured prolonged bombardment from Israel, often with the support and complicity of its allies. The Gaza Strip itself before 7 October 2023 was subjected to regular, brutal attacks from land, sea, and air from Israel. Gaza is an encircled enclave, held under siege conditions by Israeli military forces. It is akin to an open prison. It is this occupation and oppression, with its contemporary iterations, that has created the Palestinian resistance.
Palestinians have attempted for years to obtain justice through “peaceful” ways. This has however brought increased oppression, frequent bombardments, imprisonment, economic blockades and the stripping of Palestinians of their dignity and humanity.
SAMWU strongly condemns Israeli continuous attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. The solution does not lie in the killing and oppression of Palestinians, but in giving freedom to Palestine and establishing a democratic secular state of Palestine, where Muslims, Jews, and Christians could live in equality. It would also mean confronting the lie that Jews established a state in a land without a people. It would mean allowing those Palestinians driven from their land the right of return.
In standing in solidarity with the people and the State of Palestine, we demand the following;
· The end of the settlements and the withdrawal of all settlers who had settled across the borders of 1967.
· The end of Israel attacks on Palestine people in Gaza.
· Comprehensive arms embargo against Israel similar to that imposed against apartheid South Africa.
· South Africa to cut ties with Israel’s apartheid state and move quickly to prosecute South Africans who work as mercenaries for the Israeli Defence Force in accordance with the Foreign Military Assistance Regulations Act.
· The demolition of the separation wall in Jerusalem.
· All Palestinian refugees are to be granted the right to return to their homes.
· End of occupation in the Gaza Strip.
· The immediate release of imprisoned Palestinians and other political prisoners kept in the Israeli prisons.
· The withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the occupied territories.
We reiterate that the only plausible solution for this situation is the freedom of Palestine and her people.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Dumisane Magagula, General Secretary (076 580 4029)
Nkhetheni Muthavhi, Deputy General Secretary (082 526 5224)
Papikie Mohale, National Media Officer (076 795 867)