The pro-Palestinian protests took place Saturday in the U.S. — and globally — following days of violence in Gaza and Israel
Following five days of violence in Gaza and Israel that have left at least 145 Palestinians dead in Gaza, including 41 children and 23 women, as well as eight Israeli (per AP), thousands of people protested in support of Palestinians in major cities around the world, from the United States and Europe to Spain and Japan.
Pro-Palestinian protests were held across the United States, from New York City and Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and more. In Washington, D.C., specifically, hundreds marched from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol in protest of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, The New York Times reports.
“People think they can be neutral about this. That’s absolutely wrong,” Alexandra-Ola Chaic, a 17-year-old who traveled from Virginia with her family of Palestinian descent, tells the publication. “We have to do what we can to make this an issue that receives political support.”
Thousands of people shut down traffic in Los Angeles; and in New York, people marched in Brooklyn, including Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid.
Pro-Palestinian protesters marched in Paris on #NakbaDay. Riot police fired water canons and tear gas at them.
Police banned the protest, claiming it would disrupt "public order." Protest groups say the ban is politically motivated. pic.twitter.com/v9gqtLkij5
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 15, 2021
In Paris yesterday, French riot police fired tear gas and used water cannons at protesters in the French capital, where there was a ban on marching. The protestors marched in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian passions very much on display at Marble Arch.
They plan to walk to the Israeli embassy which is a mile across Hyde Park. pic.twitter.com/BTcdqQTukh
— James Waterhouse (@JamWaterhouse) May 15, 2021
Elsewhere in Europe, including London, Rome, and Madrid, thousands marched peacefully.
Tokyo saw about 300 protestors rally in support of Palestine.
Thousands gathered across New Zealand to rally and march in solidarity with Palestinians. The protestors held signs, waved flags, and chanted “free Palestine!”
Thousands marched in Free Palestine rallies in Sydney and Melbourne, The Guardian reports. Around 5,000 people attended a rally at Sydney Town Hall.
“I’ve been going to these things my whole life and I honestly don’t remember seeing such an incredible or significant turnout as I did today. We were there in the thousands and it was just really, really incredible to see,” Jeanine Hourani, one of the protestors, told the publication.
In Mexico City, demonstrators held the Palestinian flag, chanting, “Up with Palestine! Up with peace!”
Hundreds of South Africans protested in Johannesburg, in the capital, Pretoria, and the eastern town of Port Elizabeth. Here, chants of “free, free Palestine” could be heard.
Pro-Palestine protests were held in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
In Madrid, about 2,500 showed in support of Palestinians, many of the protestors young people wrapped in Palestinian flags.
“This is not a war, it’s genocide,” they chanted, per France 24.
Video shows AP, AJ and other journalists gathering their equipments and gear to evacuate their offices in the 12-story al-Jala’ residential building in the heart of Gaza before bombed and destroyed it to the ground by missiles fired from its warplanes today. #Gaza #غزة_الآن pic.twitter.com/jCtctH0O4R
— Ali Younes (@Ali_reports) May 15, 2021
The protests follows violence that began when Israeli security forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan last week, Buzzfeed News reports, during which many worshippers were injured, and Hamas retaliated with rocket fire. On Saturday, an Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing children and women. And later, airstrikes targeted a 12-floor residential and office building in Gaza that housed international news organizations, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, among other media outlets and apartments.