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Cosatu criticises govt on Gaza conflict

Tony Ehrenreich says government must ensure the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa is immediately removed.

FILE: Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says while the government has taken a progressive stance over Gaza, it believes not enough is being done to support the plight of the Palestinians.

Cosatu joined political parties in a free Palestine march in Cape Town yesterday afternoon.

Tens of thousands of people marched to Parliament yesterday to hand over a memorandum to end the bloodshed in Gaza.

The federations' Tony Ehrenreich says government must ensure the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa is immediately removed.

"President Jacob Zuma is doing us a disservice by maintaining an ambassador."

Ehrenreich says while they live by their slogan "An injury to one is an injury to all", they believe that when Israel declares war against the Palestinians, they are waging war against South Africa as well.

He adds Cosatu will ensure it intensifies the campaign to free Palestine.

GIFT OF THE GIVERS AWAITS GO AHEAD

Humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers says it's waiting for the go ahead from the Egyptian government before sending teams to Gaza.

The organisation says it has already spent more than R4 million on humanitarian aid and has pledged more support as violence continues in the region.

Gift of the Givers chief Imtiaz Sooliman says negotiations for a go ahead are at an advanced stage.

The group will be taking a team of 80 personnel consisting of medical and search and rescue teams.

"For the first time in our history we'll be taking a search and rescue team."

Sooliman said the team will help to find bodies trapped under rubble.

A final decision to allow the organisation entry, by the Egyptian government, is expected on Monday.

Pictures by EWN.