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'SA Women empathise with Palestinians'

A Grassy Park pensioner says she’s finding it hard to celebrate National Women’s Day.

Tens of thousands of people descended on the Cape Town CBD earlier today. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Grassy Park pensioner says she's finding it hard to celebrate National Women's Day while thousands of Palestinian women and children are being killed in Gaza on a daily basis.

Tens of thousands of people descended on the Cape Town CBD earlier today where they embarked on a Free Palestine march.

The march started in Kaizersgracht Street and ended at Parliament where Madiba's eldest grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela accepted a memorandum on behalf of Parliament.

67-year-old Aeysha Salie says it breaks her heart each time she sees mothers mourning the loss of their children who lost their lives in the Gaza onslaught.

"Because of Women's Day, women must make a statement. If women could walk to the Union Buildings in 1966, why can't we as women show our outrage towards the genocide that is happening in Gaza?"

Earlier today Mandla Mandela said his family fully supports Palestine.

He said South Africans must stand together to provide support to women and children at risk of losing their lives in war-torn Gaza.

At least five people have been killed in renewed Israeli airstrikes in Gaza today.

At least 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed since the deadly conflict started four weeks ago.

FIGHTING RESUMES IN GAZA

Israel launched air strikes across the Gaza Strip on Friday in response to Palestinian rockets fired after Egyptian-mediated talks failed to extend a 72-hour truce in the month-long war.

As rocket-warning sirens sounded in southern Israel, the military said Hamas had fired at least 18 rockets from Gaza and Israel's "Iron Dome" interceptor system brought down two. Gaza militants said they had fired 10 rockets on Friday.

In the first casualties since hostilities resumed on Friday, Palestinian medical officials said a 10-year-old boy was killed in an Israeli strike near a mosque in Gaza City. In Israel, police said two people were injured by mortar fire from Gaza.

After a huge explosion in Gaza City, apparently from an air raid, a military spokesman said Israel had responded to Hamas rocket fire by launching air strikes at "terror sites" across the Gaza Strip.

"We will continue to strike Hamas, its infrastructure, its operatives, and restore security for the State of Israel," Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a statement.

An Israeli government official said Israel would not negotiate with Palestinians about renewing the truce in Gaza as long as militants continued to launch rockets.

Heavy civilian casualties and destruction during Israel's campaign against militants in packed residential areas of the Gaza Strip have raised international alarm over the past month, but efforts to extend a ceasefire at talks in Cairo failed.

Israel had earlier said it was ready to agree to an extension as Egyptian go-betweens pursued negotiations with Israeli and Palestinian delegates.

Hamas said Palestinian factions had not agreed to extend the truce, but would continue negotiations in Cairo.

An Islamic Jihad official added: "Discussions in Cairo have not finished and we will pursue our efforts to stop the aggression and achieve the just demands of our people."

The Palestinians had wanted Israel to agree in principle to demands which include a lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the release of prisoners and the opening of a sea port.

The armed wing of Hamas released a statement late on Thursday warning Palestinian negotiators not to agree to an extension unless Israel offered concessions.

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