Hundreds of thousands set to participate in International Day of Rage for Gaza
- Spain announces "provisional" suspension of military exports to Israel and Evo Morales backs BDS
- Pressure grows for military embargo and sanctions
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Hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets today to demand boycotts and sanctions against Israel as part of an international day of rage initiated by organisations in Gaza.
As Israel recalls its reserves and threatens to re-intensify its assault on Gaza that has so far killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, scores of demonstrations across the world from Johannesburg to Delhi will raise demands for a full military embargo on Israel and in support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has announced that it will take part in demonstrations across South Africa as part of the day of rage.
Thousands of people are expected to join a protest outside the White House to demand an end to US military aid to Israel.
Organisers of a mass rally in London have said they expect it to be the largest ever demonstration in support of Palestine in the UK.
"Today's huge mobilisations show that the people of the world stand united in support of the rights of Palestinian people and against international complicity with Israel's on-going massacre of Palestinians in Gaza," said Dr Haidar Eid, a steering committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel who lives in Gaza.
"Governments across the world must act in line with the will of their people and take action to hold Israel to account, including by imposing sanctions and a military embargo on Israel," Dr Eid added.
The mobilisations come as pressure mounts for western governments to impose a military embargo on Israel.
On August 4, the Spanish government announced that it was "provisionally" suspending all arms sales to Israel. The campaign for a military embargo has been a major focus of Palestine solidarity groups, trade unions and social movements across Spain, where government and private sector have developed deep military cooperation with Israel.
In the UK, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has called for action against arms sales to Israel, causing splits in the coalition government there.
UK campaigners occupied and closed an arms factory near Birmingham that is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems for two days to protest the role the factory plays in supplying engines for drones used by the Israeli military.
Bolivian president Evo Morales has publically backed BDS, following on from the withdrawal of ambassadors to Israel by five Latin American states and the suspension of negotiations on a free trade agreement by the government of Chile.
More than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for a military embargo on Israel that was launched last month by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 5 other Nobel laureates.
"Israel's ability to unleash its military might on Palestinians in Gaza is dependent on the huge military trade and cooperation it maintains with states around the world. As fresh evidence emerges that Israel has been deliberately targeting civilians, it is time for governments to end their material support for Israeli war crimes," said Mohsen Abu-Ramadan from the Palestinian NGO Network in Gaza.
People across the world are expressing anger and a strong resolve to make Israel pay for its crimes through the BDS movement.