The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) stopped the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) from delivering a petition to the United Nations office in Harare to show solidarity with Palestinian workers affected by the Israeli military attacks on Gaza.
Police intervened and declared that the march and petition had not been sanctioned, citing non-compliance with legal requirements, NewsDay reported. Artuz had notified the police about their intention to hold the solidarity march, expressing their demand for an end to the attacks on Gaza. The union highlighted the suffering caused by the attacks and stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The officer commanding Harare district Chief Superintendent Raudzi Chuma wrote:
"You notified me that your solidarity march shall commence at Ashbrittle shops up to the United Nations offices in Zimbabwe, which are located at Block 10, Arundel Office Park, Norfolk Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare, where you shall hand over your petition.
However, your notification letter falls short of the requirements as outlined in the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:23]. Therefore, your intended solidarity march and petitioned has not been sanctioned."
The Israeli military has been bombarding Gaza in response to Operation Al Aqsa Flood, launched by Palestinian militant Mohammed Deif, as retaliation for Israeli raids at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque. Gaza is a densely populated strip of land bordered by Israel and Egypt, and the ongoing conflict has resulted in casualties and destruction on both sides. Israel has likened the Hamas attack to the September 11, 2001 tragedy in the United States, declaring war on Palestine.