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Pro-Palestinian group & Woolies to meet

The NC4P's Edwin Arrison says they will continue to protest until Israeli products are off the shelves.

Woolworths. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - A pro-Palestine NGO and Woolworths are expected to meet within the next two weeks to resolve their differences over the retail giant doing business with Israeli companies.

Demonstrators staged a protest outside Woolworths' Cape Town head offices on Wednesday where the company was holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Demonstrators are part of the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P), which is spearheading a campaign calling on the retail giant to stop trading with Israeli companies.

As a demonstrator read out the names of Palestinians killed in fighting to Israeli forces, others spontaneously shouted 'Woolworths supports genocide'.

Apart from these outbursts, demonstrators' feelings are clearly evident in the placards, one of which reads, 'Woolworths, stop your unethical trading'.

A woman could be seen lying on the ground near the main entrance of the offices, apparently symbolising what the protesters are calling human rights atrocities inflicted by the Jewish State.

Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

The coalition's Edwin Arrison, says they will continue to protest until these demands are met.

"Nothing stopped the campaign, it will go ahead and this meeting will now be called and we will see to what extend we can resolve it.

Meanwhile, Woolworths says it's willing to resolve the matter amicably.

The retail giant's Susie Squire says the company doesn't support the violent nature of protests staged by another group, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) inside Woolworths stores.

"We have been transparent and I also hope that the BDS can actually stop their violent protests. Shouting at Woolworths staff and customers is simply not the right way to get your point across."

The group has bought individual shares for activists and in an attempt to persuade the entire board to make the drastic move.

The campaign's Muhammed Desai said, "We're going to make sure that we lobby the entire house to take this position. If it has to go to a vote, it will, where we're sure it will win."

On Tuesday, the High Court in Johannesburg granted an order that Woolworths' management has its first face-to-face meeting with the activists before 10 December.

The order also reads that nobody will be allowed to protest in anyway at any Woolworths store.

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