In the increasing Israeli offensive, two soldiers have been killed during an attack by Hamas militants, it has emerged. The militants are reported to have come out through a tunnel from the central Gaza Strip.
Fighting has apparently intensified inside Gaza and militants have continued to fire rockets with the conflict entering its twelfth day. The two soldiers who died in the latest Hamas retaliation were identified as Sergeant Adar Bersano, 20, and Major Amotz Greenberg, a 45-year-old reservist. To its credit, the Israel Army has reported that after this attack by the militants who opened fire using machine guns and anti tank missiles, it returned fire and managed to force the militants back through the tunnel into Palestinian territory after they killed one militant. This has effectively raised the death toll of the Palestinians from the conflict to 330 in addition to 2 200 injured. The depressing fact is that, according to the United Nations, more than 80% of the casualties are civilians, a big chunk of whom are children.
Meanwhile, back in South Africa, condemnation of the Israeli offensive on Palestine has gathered momentum. The ANC parliamentary caucus has recommended Sisa Ngombane, the South African Ambassador to Israel be called back in protest of this offensive. In support of this move, the ANC Youth League have gone further to suggest that the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk be made to pack his bags and leave the country. Lenk was summoned to the department of international relations and asked by Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo and asked to explain the Israeli air strikes in Gaza. The South Africans used this opportunity to express South Africa’s grave concern on the increasing violence between Israeli and Palestinian Territories. Monyela said that no decision, however, had been taken on whether the South African ambassador would be recalled.
On the same note, the Economic Freedom Fighters have resolved to go to Palestine. EFF MP, Magadelene Moonsamy told Palestinian demonstrators that her party was with them in their suffering. She told the protesters that her party was going to Gaza to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. She intimated that Israel should be wiped off the map and called Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, a Hitler clone. She further added her voice to the calls to oust the ambassador of Israel to South Africa.