Dockers in Durban have refused to unload a boxship chartered by Israel's Zim due to the conflict between the Israeli government and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Members of the South African Trade and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) are boycotting the 4,992-teu Zim Shanghai (built 2002), owned by Costamare, the IOL website reported.

The vessel berthed on Thursday after having arrived from Singapore.

Satawu said the boycott was being carried out to show sympathy for the Palestinian victims of recent air strikes and to blame the Israeli government for the resurgence of the conflict.