Gaza War: Worldwide protests against Israel's Gaza campaign

While Israel's ground troops continue to engage in fierce battles with the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, pro-Palestinian mass protests are becoming ever larger around the world.

Gaza War: Worldwide protests against Israel's Gaza campaign

While Israel's ground troops continue to engage in fierce battles with the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, pro-Palestinian mass protests are becoming ever larger around the world.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in many cities in Germany as well as in the USA, France and Great Britain demanded an end to the Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip. Several Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also called for an “immediate ceasefire in Gaza” after a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Meanwhile, fighting between Israel's army and Hamas continued overnight.

Battles continue

Terrorists attacked Israeli soldiers in the south of the Gaza Strip near the border with anti-tank missiles early in the morning, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported. The Israeli military fired back. Since the beginning of the war, the army has repeatedly called on civilians in the north of the Gaza Strip to flee to the south of the sealed-off coastal area for their own safety. According to the military, at least around 700,000 people did this. The army again gave civilians a four-hour window for fleeing south today.

The military is currently fighting Hamas facilities, especially in the north. But there have also been Israeli air strikes in the south. According to the army, there are only targeted attacks on Hamas leaders in the areas designated for the civilian population. The area is not a “safe zone,” but is safer “than any other place in Gaza.”

Mass protests against Israel worldwide

In view of the grisly images of increasing deaths and drastic destruction, angry pro-Palestinian protests broke out in numerous cities in Europe and the USA. According to police reports, almost 17,000 people took to the streets in Düsseldorf alone, and around half as many in Berlin. The police in the capital reported posters with criminal content, issued dozens of advertisements and are now investigating, among other things, sedition.

In Washington, tens of thousands of people demanded “freedom for Palestine,” and many demonstrators marched to the White House and gathered in front of the entrance gate, which was daubed with handprints in red paint. In London, 30,000 people took part in protests against the Israeli attacks, the BBC reported, citing police estimates. Among other things, they called for an immediate ceasefire. Thousands of people also took to the streets in French cities. Around 20,000 demonstrators took part in Paris, as local media reported, citing the police.

The “expulsion of the Palestinians” must be stopped, said Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi on Saturday in Amman after a meeting with US Secretary of State Blinken. "Murder and war crimes must stop and Israel's immunity from international law must end." Blinken again advocated for a humanitarian ceasefire but rejected a long-term ceasefire. "A full ceasefire now would only leave Hamas in power, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7."

Israeli troops target Hamas leader in Gaza

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari recently stated that it was the intention of Hamas and its leader Jihia al-Sinwar to show the image of a destroyed Gaza and to hold Israel responsible for the suffering of the people there. "They will not be able to hide the real culprits, namely themselves, who brought ruin to Gaza," Hagari said.

Israel's advancing ground forces are "dismantling one Hamas battalion after another" and would "eliminate" Al-Sinwar, The Times of Israel newspaper quoted Israeli Defense Minister Joav Galant as saying late Saturday.

From Iran it was said that Head of State Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had received the head of Hamas' political office in Tehran. Ismail Haniya traveled to the capital of the Islamic Republic "a few days ago" for talks, the Iranian state news agency Irna reported on Saturday, citing a Hamas representative.

Shelling from Gaza into Israel continues

Hamas' armed wing fired another longer-range rocket into southern Israel on Saturday. According to the UN, a school was also hit during fighting in the Gaza Strip. The school in the refugee district of Jabalia serves as accommodation for displaced families, said the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. There are reports of 20 deaths. The exact background was unclear. From the Palestinian side there was talk of an Israeli attack. Israel's military said it was reviewing the reports. The information provided by both sides is often difficult to verify.

Israel has long accused Hamas of deliberately placing its command centers, weapons depots and rocket launch pads in civilian facilities such as hospitals and schools or in tunnels underneath - so that they are not bombed from the air.

What is important today

The Israeli army has once again given civilians in the Gaza Strip a window of opportunity to flee to the south of the coastal area. The Israeli armed forces would allow traffic on a southbound road between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. and 1 p.m. CET), an Israeli army spokesman wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter) on Saturday evening.