People around the world rally to support Gaza as continued Israeli bombing has killed nearly 8,000 Palestinians.
Published On 29 Oct 2023 – https://www.aljazeera.com/
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators rallied in cities across Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Asia on Saturday to show support for the Palestinians amid brutal Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
In one of the biggest marches, large crowds marched through the centre of the British capital, London, to demand the government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak call for a ceasefire.
Saturday’s march in London was mostly peaceful, but police said they had made nine arrests: two for assaults on officers and seven for public order offences – some of which were being treated as hate crimes.
Police estimated the turnout at between 50,000 and 70,000 people.
Echoing Washington’s stance, Sunak’s government has stopped short of calling for a ceasefire, and instead advocated humanitarian pauses to allow aid to reach people in Gaza.
The United Kingdom has supported Israel’s “right to defend” itself after the October 7 attack by Hamas killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
The death toll in Gaza has crossed 7,700, also mostly civilians, since Israel’s bombardment began three weeks ago, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In Malaysia, a large crowd of demonstrators chanted slogans outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
An estimated 100,000 people rallied in the southern Indian state of Kerala in solidarity with Palestine.
Addressing hundreds of thousands of supporters at a huge rally in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel was an occupier, and repeated his stance about Hamas not being a “terrorist” organisation.
Erdogan drew a sharp rebuke from Israel this week for calling the armed group “freedom fighters”.
Protests were also held in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
Palestinian protesters in Hebron in the occupied West Bank called for a global boycott of Israeli products. “Don’t contribute to the killing of the children of Palestine,” they chanted.
Elsewhere in Europe, people took to the streets of Copenhagen, Rome and Stockholm.
Some cities in France have banned rallies since the war began, fearing they could fuel social tensions. But despite a ban in Paris, a small rally took place on Saturday. Several hundred people also marched in the southern city of Marseille.
In New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, thousands of people holding Palestinian flags and placards reading “Free Palestine” marched to Parliament House.