On 26th November 2015 hundreds of South Africans and Palestinians came together to commemorate International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at Brooklyn Ster-Kinekor Cinema in Pretoria.
The occasion was marked by the screening of the film “Roadmap to Apartheid”, a historical documentation of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa, as draws parallels with the situation in the State of Palestine.
The event was a joint collaboration between the UN information Centre in Pretoria, the Departments of Arts and Culture, and International Relations Cooperation (DIRCO) and the Embassy of Palestine.
Guests to the event were clad in Palestinian scarfs donated by the Embassy to highlight the historic day which is observed annually on 29th November.
The event was attended by Ambassadors and other diplomats, senior South African Government officials, academics, media and members of the public.
Mr. Bassam Elhoussiny, Charge d’ Affair at the Palestinian Embassy said: “Regrettably, the situation of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation remains dire due to the repressive, destructive and colonial policies and practices that continue be perpetrated by Israel,” Mr. Elhussiny said that the attacks are in deliberate, systematic and grave violation of international law including humanitarian law and human rights law, with total impunity, as the international community continues to fail to hold Israel accountable in accordance with the law.
South Africa’s Minister of State Security and Guest of Honour, Mr. David Mahlobo, condemned what he said was the senseless killing happening on a daily basis in Palestine. He said that women and children were the most affected and called on the United Nations Security Council to be steadfast and make a clear decisions about the situation.
Ms. Maureen Nkandu Director of United Nations Information Centre delivered a message on behalf the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stating that “Palestinians feel deep frustration over an occupation that has lasted for over 50 years. Similarly Israelis strongly fear deeply for their security. The lack of a political horizon to achieve the two-State solution seriously increases the risk of the situation spiralling out of control”.
After the film, the nearly 250 guests at screening last Thursday evening were treated to a variety of Palestinian dishes and were given publications from the UN and the Embassy of Palestine.
In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On the same day in 2012, the State of Palestine joined the United Nations as a non-Member observer State and is now recognised by 136 countries.