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EU clamps down on the right to protest in solidarity with Palestine

Police officers detain a man in the street by Whitehall close to the 'National March For Palestine' in central London on November 11, 2023. (AFP photo)

Many European governments have clamped down on the right of citizens to stage rallies in solidarity with Palestinians, who have been under relentless air and ground attacks by Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip since October 7. 

The United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria are among EU countries that have imposed strict measures on the people who wish to stage rallies in condemnation of Israel’s brutal war on the Palestinian territory.

In Britain, authorities have been trying to ban rallies that have been attended by hundreds of thousands of people every Saturday since Israel launched its bombardment of Gaza. They claimed that the demonstrations amounted to "support for terrorism."

Last Saturday, however, saw more than 300,000 people take to the streets in solidarity with Palestinians in London.

In France, authorities imposed a total ban on pro-Palestine demonstrations.

Many pro-Palestinian rallies were also restricted in Germany in the first weeks of Israel's brutal war on Gaza.

Amnesty International said that European authorities violate freedom of expression by imposing restrictions on pro-Palestinian gatherings.

The rights organization said some countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany, have been blocking the EU from collectively calling for a cease-fire or calling out violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Rallies have been held across the world, since Israel waged its brutal war on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7.

On Saturday, thousands of people took part in protests across France and Britain, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Several thousand people  marched through central Paris behind a banner, demanding, "Halt the massacre in Gaza

"France must immediately call for a ceasefire so that the guns go silent," said CGT union secretary general Sophie Binet, one of several union leaders to speak at the rally.

Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza has so far killed more than 12,300 people, including more than 5,000 children in the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

A humanitarian crisis is also unfolding in the besieged territory, as the regime has cut off the coastal enclave from food, medicine, electricity and fuel for weeks. 


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