Thousands march across the world in solidarity with Palestinians amid Isreal’s bombardment— 2mins read
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AS Isreali forces continued their airstrikes on Gaza on Saturday, thousands of people around the world held solidarity protests showing support for Palestine.
Israeli airstrikes on Saturday brought down an 11-storeyed building in the Gaza Strip that housed media offices and residential apartments after an hour’s notice, with the country saying it had gathered intelligence that the building contained military assets belonging to Hamas.
At least 139 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip, including 39 children and hundreds rendered homeless, after a spiral of violence that erupted from the attempted eviction of Arabs from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. Isreal has recorded eight casualties since the conflict began.
Thousands of people marched through central London, Australia and France on Saturday to express solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. Some of the placards held bore messages such as ‘Gaza – End the Siege,’ ‘Freedom for Palestine,’ ‘#HandsOffAlAqsa,’ ‘Stop Bombing Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!’
A spokesperson for the protesters in London said it was vital that the UK government took immediate action and stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against the Palestinian people to go unpunished.
“The bombardment of Gaza, which is killing civilians including children, is a war crime. It is occurring in the context of the illegal forced displacement of families in Jerusalem and attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel by far-right groups, including illegal settlers from the West Bank,” the spokesperson said.
The history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict dates back to 1948 when the state of Isreal was established. Claims to the city of Jerusalem have always been at the centre of the crisis, as the city hosts historic holy sites revered by Jews and Muslims.
However, the recent escalation allegedly started after Isreali Police restricted Palestinians from gathering on steps outside the Old City – an unofficial tradition after evening prayers during Ramadan- led to tension and communal violence that have spiraled into a near full-scale war between both countries.
High-level diplomatic meetings are on-going with a view to deescalating the conflict, and the UN Security Council is expected to meet Sunday. Saudi Arabia has called for foreign ministers of the world’s largest body of Muslim nations to hold a meeting tomorrow.
The gathering is to discuss Israeli aggression in the Palestinian territory, particularly its use of force against protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Ministers of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation will attend this meeting virtually.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and called for peace in the region.
In a statement, Macron condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and said Israel had the right to defend itself, but he also expressed concern about the plight of the civilian population in Gaza.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday urged Israel and Palestine to see reason and de-escalate the hostilities and guarantee the rights of all citizens to live in peace and dignity.
Similarly, Germany says it remained “strongly committed to de-escalating the situation in the Middle East and ending the ongoing violence.”