Pro-Palestine Protesters Arrested in Germany, France, and the US After Israeli Attack on Gaza Hospital
Pro-Palestine Protesters Arrested in Germany, France, and the United States
Several pro-Palestine protesters have been arrested in Germany, France, and the United States following the latest Israeli attack on a hospital in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 500 people on Tuesday.
Protests in the United States
On Wednesday, dozens of pro-Palestine protesters were arrested after participating in an unauthorized demonstration in the rotunda of the Cannon House administration building on Capitol Hill. Earlier that day, thousands of people gathered at the National Mall in Washington D.C. to demand an immediate halt to the ongoing violence in Gaza, which they described as “genocide” against Palestinians. The protesters chanted slogans such as “ceasefire now” and “free, free Palestine.” Some wore T-shirts with messages like “The Jews say ceasefire now,” and carried banners that read “Not in my name,” “Stop the siege of Gaza,” and “Zionism = fascism.”
Protests in France
In France, French police fined a group of journalists who were covering a pro-Palestine protest in Paris. The fine, which was given despite the journalists showing their press cards issued by the French Ministry of Culture, was considered unprecedented. Pro-Palestine demonstrations have been banned in France since October 12, following an order by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Despite the ban, demonstrators gathered in Central Republic Square to show solidarity with Palestine. The journalists felt threatened and saddened by the violation of press freedom and freedom of expression.
Protests in Germany
In Germany, police intervened and arrested 50 people during pro-Palestine protests in Berlin. Similar protests were also disallowed in Frankfurt. Demonstrators faced harsh police intervention when stones and bottles were thrown at the authorities. Some protesters set up barricades, started fires, and vandalized property. Water cannons were used in Frankfurt, and some protesters were arrested for resisting.
Short-lived demonstrations of support also took place in Kassel, Bochum, and Wuppertal without any incident.
The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
Currently, Gaza is facing a severe humanitarian crisis with electricity outages and shortages of water, food, fuel, and medical supplies. The Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza was targeted in an Israeli air strike, resulting in the deaths of at least 471 people and injuries to 342 others. Israel has denied responsibility for the raid.
The Conflict and Its Toll
The conflict between Israel and Hamas began on October 7 when Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood in response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and increasing violence by Israeli settlers. The Israeli army responded with Operation Iron Swords, targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The death toll in Palestine is at least 3,478, while in Israel it is over 1,400. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to alleviate the immense suffering caused by the conflict.