Pro-Palestine solidarity marches are being held around the world in a continuation of weeklong demonstrations, with protesters demanding their respective governments impose sanctions and a military embargo to cut the supply of weapons to Israel.
Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza killed nearly 250 Palestinians, including at least 65 children, leaving behind many buildings, homes and infrastructure destroyed in the besieged enclave.
The fighting came to an end after the Israeli government and Palestinian fighter groups agreed on a ceasefire that started on Friday.
The Sheikh Jarrah protests against forced expulsion of Palestinians by Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, and the Israeli attack on Muslim worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, served as a catalyst for Israel’s attacks in Gaza.
Protests were held in London, Melbourne and Paris on Saturday, while more of them were scheduled for the weekend in other big cities, including New York.
At the march in London, Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reported that there was a “sense of relief” with Israel’s attacks halting, but that more needed to be done.
“There is a sentiment that the conflict should not be forgotten,” he said.
Some were draped in Palestinian flags and set off green and red smoke flares. Others carried banners declaring “Free Palestine”, “Stop bombing Gaza” and “Sanctions on Israel”.
#LondonForPalestine solidarity protest draws almost 200,000 people according to metro
Quite a turnout. The #ceasefire is holding but they say #Israel’s #occupation continues and are calling for a #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/jSiSqfdJds
— Saima Mohsin (@SaimaMohsin) May 22, 2021
In Adelaide, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Parliament House before marching through the city centre.
“We need to remember that just because they announced a ceasefire doesn’t mean it’s over. It will never be over until Palestine is free,” said Australian Palestinian community member Jana Fandi who attended the rally.
In Sydney, thousands of protesters gathered in Hyde Park before marching through the streets, chanting and waving banners.
“Palestinians continue to face violence from Israeli occupation forces and it’s not going to end until the occupation comes to an end,” Palestine Action Group activist Dalia al-Haj Qasem said.
A solidarity protest in the capital, Paris, was held with thousands attending the march.
“A ceasefire does not resolve the question. This fight concerns all those who are attached to the values of justice, dignity and law,” said Bertrand Heilbronn, president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association which organised the Paris rally and other demonstrations.
The capital marchers shouted slogans such as “Palestine will live, Palestine will win”, “Israel assassin, Macron accomplice”, “and We are all Palestinians.”
Hundreds of people rallied in support of Palestinians in demonstrations held in the German cities of Frankfurt and Berlin.
In Berlin, hundreds came to the rally, many waving Palestine flags and carrying posters that read “Free Palestine,” according to a dpa news agency reporter.
Many chanted “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea” at the event titled “The events in Palestine and the German media”.