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Pro-Palestinian protesters march in Berlin, accuse Germany of siding with Israel

About 2,500 pro-Palestinian protesters marched in Berlin on Saturday in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip as German police accompanied the demonstration with several hundred officers.

The protesters demanded a free Palestine in chants as they walked through the streets, calling for Israel to "stop the war on Gaza."

They also accused the German government of taking a biased approach to the Gaza war by siding with Israel.

A group of doctors joined the protest, holding banners accusing Israel of committing war crimes by evacuating and bombing hospitals in Gaza.

"...we want to demonstrate against war and for peace, against the murder of children, against the weapons that are being fired on Gaza because of the genocide, against the expulsion, against the extermination, against the inhumane conditions that are happening in Palestine and against the situation in Germany. Against the views, the politics, the media," chief doctor and surgeon, Ihlayle Meqdad, was quoted by Reuters as saying. 

Hesham Dashan, a Berlin-based Palestinian orthopedist and emergency doctor, said, "I come from Gaza myself and have now lost 65 members of my family. You know, it's a different story to what you see on German television. You just see the focus on the other side."

"The problem in Germany is that people mix criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. We are also allowed to condemn this war. We are also allowed to criticize Israel. It does not mean that we are anti-Semites. That is not true. Yes, and that's the problem. That's also what we get hammered into our heads every day here in Germany. Palestinians equal Hamas. Criticizing Israel equals anti-Semitism. That can't be true," he added.

Another protester said all Germans should attend pro-Palestinian protests and show solidarity with the Palestinian people killed in Gaza:

"So it's humanity to be here right now. It goes without saying. Every German living in Germany should be here. Children are being killed, women, and they've still been killed for 30 days, over a month. It goes without saying that we should show solidarity with them here," the protester added.

"So it's just about stopping this mass murder, about treating the people in Gaza with mercy. And finding and destroying a few weapons now or a few tunnels is no justification for killing thousands of people," another demonstrator was quoted as saying.

Israel's devastating war on the blockaded territory started on October 7 following a surprise operation by Gaza-based resistance movements. It has so far claimed the lives of at least 12,300 Palestinians, including more than 5,000 children. More than 29,800 people have also sustained injuries.

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