Thousands of people took to the streets of cities around the world on Saturday to show their support for the Palestinians, as airstrikes and rocket attacks continued to hit Israel and Gaza for the sixth day in a row.
Palestinians around the world mark the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe” every year on May 15 after moving into the 1948 war around the creation of Israel. Violence showed little sign of abating on Saturday as Israeli airstrikes killed at least 10 people and rocket attacks from Gaza killed a man in Israel.
In London, where several thousand people took to the streets, charity worker Rohan Talbot, 34, said he had friends in Gaza and “couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t. not rise in solidarity with them, while they endure so much. “
Bongani Njalo, a 33-year-old South African student, also demonstrating in London, said he had taken “some time away from my studies to be here because I thought my silence would make me complicit in the violence” .
Protesters in the Australian city of Sydney also chanted “Free and Free Palestine” after rallying outside City Hall on Saturday.
“I see people who will no longer remain silent. People who have had enough, people who respond to oppression and violence by defending themselves,” Walla Abu-Eid told Reuters at the protest.
Hundreds of people also took to the streets of Melbourne.
In France, thousands of people were in Paris to support the Palestinians, although the Interior Ministry ruled the pre-planned protest illegal on Friday for fear of violence.
A spokesperson for the police headquarters told French television station BFMTV that a water cannon and 4,200 police officers, including riot police, were in place throughout the French capital. Some stores also closed prematurely. Similar protests took place in other French cities.
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French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and called for peace in the region. In a statement, Macron condemned the Hamas rocket attacks and said Israel has the right to defend itself, but also expressed concern over the fate of the civilian population in Gaza.
Of Germany Foreign Ministry also wrote on Twitter that the country remained “firmly committed to defusing the situation in the country. Middle East and end the ongoing violence, “ahead of Saturday’s protests.
German Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko maas also condemned the burning of Israeli flags, tweeting on Friday that those who did so “are also burning the values of our Basic Law.”
“Part of our country’s identity is that we do not accept any form of anti-Semitism and clearly recognize Israel’s right to exist,” he wrote.
In neighboring Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted that his country stands in solidarity with Israel.
But his position has aroused the ire of Iran, whose Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has canceled a trip to the country to meet with his counterpart, Austria’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
International diplomatic efforts have yet to show any signs of stopping hostilities.
President Joe Biden’s envoy Hady Amr, deputy assistant secretary for Israel and Palestinian affairs, arrived in Israel on Friday. The US Embassy in Israel said in a statement that the US envoy aimed “to reinforce the need to work for lasting calm.”
Andy Eckardt, Nancy Ing and Reuters contributed.