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Tens of thousands rally in Sydney, Madrid to support Palestinians in Gaza

People supporting Palestine hold flags and placards during a rally held in Sydney, Australia, on October 29, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Australia’s biggest city Sydney and the Spanish capital Madrid to show their support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calling for an end to the Israeli violence in the besieged territory. 

Nearly 50,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Belmore Park of Sydney on Sunday, demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as they chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine.”

The demonstrators also voiced their opposition against the Australian government’s support for Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinians.

The crowd carried an enormous 100-meter-long Palestinian flag with messages written across it including, “Stop killing innocent children”. 

Sunday’s pro-Palestine rally, Sydney’s largest gathering to date, was organized by the Sydney arm of the Palestine Action Group.

Assala Sayara, one of the event's organizers shouted “Gaza Gaza don’t you cry, Palestine will never die” and “long live Palestine”. 

Pointing to the death toll in Gaza, Sayara said, “They are not just numbers on paper. They are humans with dreams and hopes. They are not terrorists, they are native Palestinians who have a right to be on their land. This is an indication that the world has failed justice.”

Greens MP Jenny Leong also posted video updates, saying, “Sydney has come out in their thousands again - standing in solidarity with Palestinians here and around the world.”

Similar protests were held in Australia's second-biggest city Melbourne to show solidarity with Palestinians and condemn Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

A large number of Palestinian supporters gathered at the State Library and marched to Parliament House on Sunday, as they chanted “Free, free Palestine” and carried red, green and white flags.

The rally had a strong police presence and remained peaceful as the crowd moved through the streets.

On October 7, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched its biggest operation against Israel in years in a surprise offensive, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

Since then, Israel has pressed ahead with a relentless bombardment of Gaza. The death toll in Gaza since the start of Israeli aggression has reached over 8,000 with more than 20,500 wounded.

Tel Aviv has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the besieged territory into a humanitarian crisis.

Thousands march in Madrid in solidarity with Palestine

Meanwhile, thousands of Spaniards held a rally in the capital Madrid to protest against Israel's bombardment of Gaza and to demand an immediate ceasefire.

The demonstrators marched towards Sol square in central Madrid, as they chanted slogans in Spanish such as “It's not war, It’s a genocide,” and waved a huge Palestinian flag.

Some protesters said what is happening to the Palestinian people is “shameful,” asking for more mobilization worldwide to denounce it.

The latest rallies come as several other cities, including the French capital Paris, Switzerland’s largest city of Zurich and Britain's capital London have seen similar protests in recent days.

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