As Israeli airstrikes continued to rain down on the the Gaza Strip on Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are taking to the streets in an international Day of Rage to condemn the attacks and demand that their governments do their part and boycott Israel.
In an open letter announcing the demonstration, a coalition of Palestinian groups organized by the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, write: "As we face the full might of Israel’s military arsenal, funded and supplied by the United States and European Union, we call on civil society and people of conscience throughout the world to pressure governments to sanction Israel and implement a comprehensive arms embargo immediately."
Taking up their call, an estimated 170,000 people took to the streets of Cape Town, South Africa in one of the biggest demonstrations the city has seen in 20 years. According to reports, Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the marchers who carried signs that read: "Africans understand colonialism," and “Zuma suffer of (sic) historical amnesia."
In London, over 100,000 people rallied in Hyde Park in a massive outpouring of solidarity and in Paris activists marched through the city carrying a large banner which read: "Boycott Israel Apartheid."
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The BDS letter continues:
From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words. Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.
While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.
According to an IDF spokesman, Israel struck 33 targets within the Gaza Strip overnight and has carried out over 100 airstrikes since the 72-hour ceasefire ended early Friday.
Among the targets hit overnight were a mosque and a number of residential houses. On Friday, five people were killed in the resumed strikes, including three children, and on Saturday reports indicate that two men were killed when their motorcycle was struck while riding through the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
The strike on the mosque brought the number of mosques destroyed in the assault to 63 completely destroyed, the Ma'an News Agency reports. The strikes have also damaged more than 32,000 homes, displacing roughly 485,000 people—or around one-third of Gaza's total population.