Armed man arrested at pro-Israel rally

Police say the man arrested outside yesterday's rally was carrying a number of firearms and knives.

Thousands of people attending the pro-Israel rally at Huddle Park in Linksfield on 3 August, 2014. Picture: Valeska Abreu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police say a man arrested outside yesterday's pro-Israeli rally in Linksfield yesterday was carrying a number of firearms and knives.

An estimated 12,000 people gathered at the rally at Huddle Park to express their solidarity with Israel.

Police say the man was carrying a rifle, a loaded shot gun, a revolver and three knives.

The police's Nonzwakazi Tsoanyane says the law doesn't permit for heavily armed people to attend gatherings.

At the same time, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) say it's overwhelmed by the support received from different church groups and political parties at its pro-Israel rally in Johannesburg.

SAZF's Avrom Krengel says the rally showed diverse support for Israel from different religions and political parties.

He says the Shembe Church, Zion Christian Church and the Congolese Christian Church were among the religious groups in attendance.

Krengel says the rally also demonstrated the freedom to protest.

"The Shembe were there with their trumpets and there were speeches and prayers."

Speaking after the rally yesterday, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein agreed with Krengel's sentiments.

"As South Africans, we need to disagree with what is happening in the Middle East in a way that we don't tear our own society apart."

He said South Africa needs to be unified in its diversity.

Meanwhile, Palestinians and Israelis have accused each other of launching attacks soon after a seven-hour Israeli ceasefire intended to allow humanitarian aid into the battered Gaza Strip came into force on Monday.

Palestinians said Israel had bombed a refugee camp in Gaza City, killing an eight-year-old girl and wounding 29 other people, while Israel said at least four rockets had been fired at its territory from Gaza.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said the air strike on a house in Shati camp took place after the truce was scheduled to start on Monday morning.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the refugee camp attack. She said four rockets had been fired from Gaza since the truce started and two had crashed inside Israel. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

In Jerusalem, a heavy construction vehicle slammed into a bus, overturning it in what Israeli police said was a suspected terrorist attack. No passengers were on the bus but a passerby died after being run over by the digger, and police said its driver was shot dead. Israeli media identified the driver as a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.

Israel announced a ceasefire to free up humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by almost four weeks of war to go home.

The announcement met with suspicion from Gaza's ruling Islamist Hamas movement and followed unusually strong censure from Washington at the apparent Israeli shelling on Sunday of a UNrun shelter that killed 10 people.

Israel launched its offensive on 8 July following a surge in Hamas rocket salvoes. It escalated from air and naval barrages to overland incursions centred on Gaza's tunnel-riddled eastern frontier, but also pushed into densely populated towns.

G aza officials say 1,804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than a quarter of the impoverished enclave's 1.8 million residents displaced. As many as 3,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged.

Israel has lost 64 soldiers in combat and three civilians to Palestinian cross-border rocket and mortar fire that has emptied many of its southern villages. Iron Dome interceptors, air raid sirens and public shelters have helped stem Israeli casualties.