MIDDLE EAST CRISIS PHOTO ESSAY
Pro-Palestine supporters mobilise across the globe demanding end to violence in Gaza
Pro-Palestine supporters have mobilised in their tens of thousands in cities worldwide to protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has left more than 2 million Palestinians without access to food, water, shelter and medical supplies.
From Yemen to Italy, India, the Philippines and Greece, protesters have been brandishing placards, flying the Palestinian flag and lighting candles calling for an end to Israeli aggression and urging world leaders to step up their efforts to mediate a peaceful resolution to the Middle East crisis.
Police in Paris used tear gas and water cannons to disperse pro-Palestinian protesters after authorities were ordered to ban all demonstrations in support of Palestine, with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin saying protests were “likely to generate disturbances of public order”.
In the United Kingdom, where this Daily Maverick reporter is based, protesters marched in cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and London demanding an end to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s support of Israel. The BBC’s New Broadcasting House building in London was defaced with red paint, with a pro-Palestinian group claiming responsibility, saying it was protesting against the broadcaster’s “biased reporting” on the war.
Palestine Action left a message overnight for the @BBC: spreading the occupation’s lies and manufacturing consent for israel’s war crimes means that you have Palestinian blood on your hands #ShutBBCDown https://t.co/wjAPXo8GjJ pic.twitter.com/l5xLYXKVeD
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) October 14, 2023
There was a heavy police presence in London. One thousand officers were deployed and, according to reports, law enforcement officials warned that anyone publicly supporting Hamas or wearing a face covering to conceal their identity would be arrested.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged solidarity with Palestine, speaking to the media during the course of a National Executive Committee meeting in Boksburg, South Africa, on 14 October.
“We stand here because we are deeply concerned about the atrocities occurring in the Middle East and we have passed our condolences to the people of Israel as we are passing condolences to the people of Palestine,” Ramaphosa said.
“We have a full understanding of how the people of Palestine have taken up this issue because they are people … under occupation for almost 75 years. [They] have been waging a struggle against an oppressive government that has occupied its land,” he said.
The conflict was sparked last Saturday after Hamas fighters breached the Gaza border, killing more than 1,200 Israeli soldiers and civilians, and taking hostages. Since then, according to Palestinian health ministry sources, the death toll in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank had reached 2,383 by Sunday, with almost 10,000 people wounded following unrelenting bombing by Israel.
High-rise buildings have been razed to the ground, hospitals have been hit and tens of thousands of residents in the northern regions of Gaza have been ordered to evacuate to the south amid a looming ground offensive. Israel formally declared war on Hamas last Sunday, 8 October.
International organisations, including the United Nations, have called for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s population.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is looking to raise $104-million for its humanitarian response over the next three months to respond “to the immediate food, non-food, health, shelter and protection needs of up to 250,000 persons seeking safety”, according to a press release. DM