Thousands rally across Europe to back Palestinians - GulfToday

Thousands rally across Europe to back Palestinians


Pro-Palestinian supporters stage a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians..

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in support of Palestinians on Saturday in major European cities including London, Berlin, Madrid and Paris.


In London, several thousand protesters carrying placards reading "Stop Bombing Gaza" and chanting "Free Palestine" converged on Marble Arch, near the British capital's Hyde Park, to march towards the Israeli embassy.


Packed crowds stretched all along Kensington High Street where the embassy is located.


Organisers claimed as many as 150,000 people had gathered for the London march, one of several across Britain, though London police said they were unable to confirm any figure.


Simon Makepace, a 61-year-old accountant told AFP he had joined the protests because "the whole world should be doing something about it, including this country".


'Stop what's happening'


Azadeh Pyman, a 50-year-old scientist said she had been raised on the Palestinian cause by her parents and grandparents.


pal2 People hold flags as they protest in Italy.


Later Saturday, two Leicester players, England's Hamza Choudhury and France's Wesley Fofana, held a Palestinian flag after their team won the FA Cup final.


Across North America, in turn, gatherings to show solidarity with Palestinians took place in cities including Boston, Washington, Montreal and Dearborn, Michigan.


Several hundred people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, chanting "Free, free Palestine" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."


They waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read "End Israeli Apartheid" and "Freedom for Gaza."


The marches came amid the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence since a 2014 war in Gaza.


'Boycott Israel'


Thousands marched in Berlin and other German cities following a call by the Samidoun collective.


pal3 A lady holds a placard during the protest.


The protesters shouted "Boycott Israel" and threw paving stones and bottles at the police, leading to several arrests.


Other protests were held in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Hamburg.


Days of fighting


In Greece, police said around a thousand people marched on the US embassy in Athens. Riot police used water cannon and there were minor scuffles with protesters in front of the embassy, AFP correspondents reported.


In Rome, a few hundred people gathered near the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica, carrying large Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.


"No need to be Muslim to support the Palestinians," read one placard: "You just need to be a human being."


In Tunisia, demonstrations took place in several cities. Hundreds of demonstrators draped in Palestinian flags gathered in central Tunis, before marching on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, watched by police.



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