|Volume 53 Number 29, October 23, 2023
People all over the world have been demonstrating to support the people of Palestine and condemn Israel's indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, its impossible demand that 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza evacuate to the south within 24 hours, and their potential ground invasion. The UN reported 423,000 people in Gaza had been displaced. As of October 17, the UN reported that a staggering 4,200 people have been killed, with over one million people displaced in just 10 days, and large areas in the Gaza Strip reduced to rubble, with grave fears about the toll on civilians in the coming days. According to the UN, as of October 20, one third of all homes in Gaza City have been destroyed by Israeli bombings. All of Israel's attacks on civilians in Gaza and elsewhere, including Palestinians attempting to flee within Gaza or to Egypt, on UN personnel, medical personnel, and hospitals are collective punishment and are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law .
Armed resistance is taking place in the West Bank as well. In Nablus, resistance fighters opened fire at Israeli soldiers in the Jabal Subeih area of Beita town. Angry protests were also held in different areas of Jenin, condemning the Israeli bloody crimes against the Gaza Strip and the international community's shameful silence. Violent confrontations, meanwhile, broke out in the vicinity of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Salem military camp, west of Jenin, in protest against the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Similar clashes also erupted in al-Khalil, amid the heavy use of live ammunition.
Israel has launched missile strikes on Syria's two main airports in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, knocking both out of service, Syrian state media reported.
Thousands of people have demonstrated across Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, and Libya. From Morocco to Istanbul, Baghdad to Beirut, Tehran to Sanaa passionate protests shook the region, showing total rejection of the notion of normalisation of ties with Israel. City centres and squares filled with rousing crowds calling for the immediate end of the siege of Gaza and calling for a global "day of rage".
Iraq's "Prayer for Palestine" gathered about a million people in Tahrir Square in Baghdad.
Mass protests in support of Palestine erupted in Jordan's capital Amman. Hundreds of thousands rallied shouting, "They say Hamas are terrorists -- All Jordan Is Hamas!" Jordanian security forces reportedly prevented hundreds of protesters from reaching the Jordan-Israel border, firing heavy teargas canisters at protesters. Jordan has a 238-kilometre border with Israel and two different crossings. Jordan's Interior Ministry had earlier declared that no demonstrations in the Jordan Valley and border region would be allowed. In various areas, Jordanian security clashed with protesters, firing teargas at the crowds.
In Malaysia and Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, massive mobilisations of the people have been taking place in support of the Palestinian people. In Indonesia people have attended Friday prayers in large numbers where the Imams delivered sermons on the situation in Gaza and made special prayers for the people of Palestine.
In India, slogans of "Long Live Palestine!" and "Gaza Will Never Die!" also rang out loud and clear in support of the Palestinian people. In some areas the Indian government prevented the holding of prayers in Mosques in an effort to keep the Indian people from rallying and expressing their support.
In Pakistan, in response to moves to establish closer relations with Israel, protesters burned the Israeli flag and protested in large numbers.
In cities across Europe thousands-strong solidarity rallies and marches have also been held, and have been increasing in frequency and number, including in Geneva, Copenhagen, Turin and Dublin, as well as in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Malaga, and Reus Catalunya in Spain. In Paris, France police have used tear gas and water cannon against the people, following orders by the French Interior Minister to ban all pro-Palestine demonstrations in the name of "public order".
Following Israel's massacre of nearly 500 people when it bombed the Al Ahli Hospital, millions of people throughout the world have risen in protest against the crimes Israel is committing in Gaza with the numbers swelling day after day. Broad sections of the people, especially the youth, are demanding an end to the atrocities Israel is committing in Gaza before the hospital bombing and since. They are also denouncing the green light the US is giving for the Israeli war crimes by creating the diversion of Israel's alleged right to self-defence, as if war crimes and genocide can be justified in the name of self-defence. According to the US news website Axios, the US has sent thousands of 155mm shells to Israel which were intended for Ukraine.
All those countries, including Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and Canada, who feed Israel's narrative that it is doing its best to avoid killing civilians but that they are collateral damage because Hamas allegedly uses them as human shields stand condemned as conciliators with the crimes of genocide being committed. Any attempt to create a moral equivalence between the Palestinian resistance and the crimes of the Israeli occupation of Palestine merits condemnation.
The people of Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Tulkarm, Tubas, and other cities in the occupied West Bank defied the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces who used live fire to disperse the protests, killing at least one person. Local media reported hundreds of people also marched towards local PA headquarters, demanding more action to confront Israel and support the Gaza Strip. The demand for the resignation of the leaders of the PA and slogans in support of Hamas also rang out loud and clear.
Thousands of Tunisians rallied near the French embassy in Tunisia, calling on their country to immediately expel the French ambassador due to France's unequivocal support for the crimes of Israel and France's ban of protests in support of Palestinians. In Lebanon a large rally took place at the US Embassy in Beirut. Similar scenes were repeated in Mauritania, Yemen, Iraq, and throughout Türkiye, in addition to other Arab and Middle Eastern countries. In Amman, Jordan, hundreds of protesters attempted to storm the Israeli embassy, setting fire to the walls and the gates near the entrance. Jordanian security forces clashed with protesters, and threw teargas canisters, in a desperate attempt at dispersing them. In Türkiye, protesters also gathered near the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul on October 17. More than 60 people were injured, most of them police officers, when police used force to disperse the protest.
Baghdad, Iraq - Photo: Shehab
Paris, France - Rabat, Morocco