News ID: 303115
Published: 0347 GMT May 16, 2021

Israel’s deadliest attack on Gaza kills over 40

Israel’s deadliest attack on Gaza kills over 40

Rallies held globally in support of Palestinians

International Desk

Israeli airstrikes killed at least 42 people on Sunday in the worst daily toll since the regime launched an onslaught on the Gaza Strip, health officials in the Palestinian territory said.

The Israeli military continued to pound the Gaza Strip and Hamas fighters fired rocket salvoes, a day after Israel's destruction of a tower block that housed news media organizations sparked international outcry, France 24 reported.

Palestinian officials said at least 192 people have been killed over the past week, including at least 58 children, and over 1,200 have been wounded. Israel has reported 10 dead.

Israeli airstrikes hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas’ political wing, in the densely populated enclave, the military said early on Sunday.

Later on Sunday, three convoys carrying 263 wounded Palestinians from Gaza were taken across the Rafah border crossing into Egypt for medical treatment as Israeli strikes continued to pummel the enclave, medical and border sources told AFP.

Resistance fighters responded by firing fresh barrages of rockets at Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheva.

“After threatening to fire rockets at Tel Aviv, Hamas has fired a heavy barrage of rockets from Gaza into central & southern Israel,” the Israeli military wrote in a post published on its Twitter page early on Sunday, Press TV reported.

On Saturday, another strike on Gaza killed 10 members of an extended family. The children “didn’t carry weapons, they didn’t fire rockets”, said Mohammad al-Hadidi, one of the grieving fathers.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “dismayed” by civilian casualties in Gaza and “deeply disturbed” by Israel’s strike on the tower housing news bureaus, a spokesperson said. Guterres “reminds all sides that any indiscriminate targeting of civilian and media structures violates international law and must be avoided at all costs”, he said.



Global rallies

The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip sparked protests in support of Palestinians across the world.

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

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.

Organizers said as many as 150,000 people gathered for the London march, one of several across Britain.

"This time is different," Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot told the demonstrators.

"This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression."

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".

He was critical of the United States, which he said was unfairly backing Israel, and urged Washington to "make peace and stop what’s happening".

On 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.


‘This is not a war, it’s genocide’

In Madrid, meanwhile, some 2,500 people, many of them young people wrapped in Palestinian flags, marched to the Puerta del Sol plaza in the city Centre.

"This is not a war, it's genocide," they chanted.

"They are massacring us," said Amira Sheikh-Ali, a 37-year-old woman of Palestinian origin.

"We're in a situation when the Nakba is continuing in the middle of the 21st century," she said, referring to the "catastrophe", a word used by Palestinians to describe the creation of Israel in 1948, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out.

"We want to ask Spain and the European authorities not to collaborate with Israel, because with their silence, they are collaborating," said Ikhlass Abousousiane, a 25-year-old nurse of Moroccan origin.

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

Three marches were authorized in Berlin's working-class Neukölln southern district, home to large numbers of people with Turkish and Arab roots.

The protesters shouted "Boycott Israel".

Other protests were held in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Hamburg.

Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held there despite a ban by authorities.

Some threw stones or tried to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part police pursued groups across the district while preventing a planned march toward the Place de la Bastille.

The march had been banned on Thursday over concerns of a repeat of fierce clashes that erupted at a similar Paris march during the last war in 2014.

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.


North America protests

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

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators called for an end to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

About two thousand people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, 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".

Many protesters wore black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sounded car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.

Several Jewish people attended, carrying placards that said: "Not in my name" and "Solidarity with Palestine" as the protesters took over a street in the area which has a large Arab population.

Mashhour Ahmad, a 73-year-old Palestinian who has lived in New York for 50 years, said, "Don't blame the victim for the aggression".

“I’m telling Mr. Biden and his cabinet to stop supporting the killing. Support the victims; stop the oppression.”

Similar protests were also held in Turkey, South Africa, Belgium, Qatar, Lebanon and Iraq.



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