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'SA should do more for Palestine'

Pro-Palestinian protesters say the SA Govt should do more to highlight the plight of the Palestinians.

Pro-Palestinian protesters marched through the streets of Cape Town on 16 July 2014 against the Israeli offensive which has killed over 200 civilians. Mia Spies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Pro-Palestinian demonstrators who took part in a march in Cape Town on Wednesday say the South African government should do more to highlight the plight of Palestinians.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the violence ravaging Gaza.

Ongoing Israeli military strikes on Gaza have left over 200 people dead and have sparked an outcry around the world.

Israel says it has the right to defend itself as Hamas continue to fire rockets into the country.

Capetonian Aziza Ali says it seems too many South Africans aren't aware of the dire situation Palestinians find themselves in, in Gaza.

"It's our Muslim brothers and sisters that are suffering and the children are also suffering. "

Many carried posters reading "Free Palestine" and graphic photographs of ongoing violence in Gaza.

Thousands of demonstrators walked to Parliament in a march led by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)

Meanwhile, the South African government has summoned the ambassador of Israel to the country to express its concern over the escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Deputy Minister of International Relations, Nomaindia Mfeketo, has called on ambassador Arthur Lenk to immediately cease its air strikes into the Gaza Strip.

The minister also made it clear that South Africa opposes any threat of ground invasion and urges the state of Israel to refrain from making the situation worse.

The violence broke out in the Gaza Strip just over a month ago when Israel attacked the region preventing them from manufacturing and firing rockets into the state.

One way or another the violence between Israel and Palestine needs to end as many innocent civilians are losing their lives.

Lenk says both parties have agreed to stop the violence and seek ways to go back to the dialogue.

"We both agree that the violence needs to stop. We both agree that we have to find a way back to dialogue because both Palestinians and Israelis deserve better."

AIR STRIKES CONTINUE

At the same time, Israeli shelling killed four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach on Wednesday, an incident the military called tragic, and Israel and Hamas said they would cease attacks for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.

Hamas fired more rockets into Israel on the ninth day of a war in which Israeli attacks have killed 216 Palestinians, including six in two air strikes on Wednesday.

Most of the casualties were civilians, health officials in Gaza said.

In Israel, a civilian was killed by one of more than 1,000 Palestinian rockets fired and more than half a dozen people have been wounded.

With no end to the fighting in sight, Israel is poised to expand its war on Hamas, from shelling and aerial and naval assaults thus far into possible ground action, with around 30,000 reservists called up since the offensive began.

Netanyahu told mayors of rocket-struck towns, "We will continue to conduct this campaign until its goal is achieved. We will use as much force as necessary to restore quiet to Israel's residents."

The United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, said in a statement she was "extremely concerned about the escalation of hostilities in Gaza and its impact on civilians."

She said in addition to the casualties, public services in Gaza had been suspended and its water supply was at risk.

Additional reporting by Reuters