Global protests erupt in solidarity with Palestinians

An overview of the massive protest in Baghdad, Iraq.Reuters

Tens of thousands of people from around the world have taken to the streets in support of the Palestinians, condemning the Israeli military’s actions following an unprecedented attack by Hamas last week.

The protests occurred on Friday, a significant day for Muslims, offering a powerful moment for political mobilisation.

From the Middle East to Southeast Asia, demonstrators expressed their outrage at the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, where over 1,500 lives have been tragically lost, while a surprising attack by Hamas resulted in more than 1,300 casualties in Israel.

Protesters gathered in various locations around the globe, and their message was consistent. They condemned Israel’s heavy bombardment of the besieged enclave. They called for a more robust response to support the Palestinian cause.

In some places, protestors burned Israeli flags and chanted slogans like “Free Palestine” and “Crush the Zionists.”

Indonesian Islamic leaders called upon mosques worldwide to pray for peace and safety in the Gaza Strip, urging all mosques to perform a special protection prayer, the Qunut Nazilahto.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has ignited widespread anger in the Middle East, with many perceiving Israel as an occupying force supported by the United States, consistently violating Palestinian rights. Demonstrators argue that the Palestinians have endured various forms of injustice, including starvation and killing, leading people of conscience to stand with Gaza.

As Israel’s military urged more than a million Palestinians in Gaza to evacuate to the territory’s southern region, the Palestinians in the blockaded area have been left in fear, with no access to basic necessities.

In Bahrain, Muslims chanted “Death to Israel” during Friday prayers, expressing support for the Palestinians’ legitimate struggle.

In Iraq, over 500,000 people gathered in Tahrir Square for a peaceful show of solidarity. Some protesters expressed the need for more significant actions in the future.

In Egypt, the government-controlled Friday sermon briefly supplicated for the Palestinians, focusing primarily on the importance of security.

In Makkah, at Islam’s holiest site, the imam called for God’s support and mercy for the Palestinians. However, the United Arab Emirates, which established diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020, did not mention the Palestinians in their televised Friday sermon.

Lebanon also saw mass protests, with people coming from all corners of the country to show their support.

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut waved flags, voicing their support for Gaza. While the Iranian-backed militant group has launched attacks since the Hamas assault, it hasn’t entered the war. Nonetheless, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general warned of vigilance against US and British naval vessels approaching the Mediterranean Sea.

Across Iran, demonstrators protested against Israel, burning flags and chanting slogans.

In Yemen’s Sanaa, live television footage showed demonstrators crowding streets and declaring their support for Islam.

Pakistan also witnessed pro-Palestine rallies in major cities, including Islamabad. Some protesters disrespected American and Israeli flags.

In New York, thousands of protesters raised their voices to “Free Palestine” and condemned the Israeli bombings in Gaza. The demonstrators, from various backgrounds and ages, demanded an end to the “Israeli occupation” and the “liberation” of Palestinian territories. They accused Israel of “genocide” and called for the United States to withdraw its support for Israel.

Concerned citizens, like Liz Zacharia, joined the protest, emphasising the need to end the cycle of violence and oppression in the region. The demonstrators chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a slogan interpreted differently by different groups.

In Miami, about 200 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered, calling for an end to the violence and expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people. Demonstrations have taken place in various locations, including college campuses across the United States.

Despite international media’s varied coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, these demonstrations have united people worldwide in their support for Palestine and their condemnation of Israeli actions.

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