More than 20,000 attend pro-Palestinian rally in Brussels

Many protesters accused Israel of conducting a ‘genocide’ against Palestinians in Gaza, with some calling for a boycott on Israeli products – Copyright AFP JOHN THYS

More than 20,000 people marched through Brussels on Saturday in a show of support for Palestinians, with many calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, which Israel is heavily bombarding.

Many of the protesters yelled “free Palestine” and “stop the genocide” as they participated in the peaceful demonstration that took place on Armistice Day, a public holiday in Belgium and other countries to mark the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Some also cried out “EU, shame on you” for perceived bias towards Israel at the expense of Palestinian lives and rights.

Brussels police, which put the turnout at 21,000, watched over the march and closed traffic on several roads as it wended through the city for two hours.

“We are here today to ask the world for a ceasefire in Palestine,” one of the demonstrators, Rima Fayad, a 31-year-old orthodontist, told AFP.

Another, a 26-year-old supermarket employee who gave her first name as Kim, said “the protest is about Israel which is just committing a genocide while the world is watching and we’re calling to stop the genocide”.

Several previous pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place in Brussels this month, since Israel launched its military retaliation against Hamas in Gaza over the October 7 attack by the Islamist militant group in Israel in which at least 1,200 people were killed.

The Israeli air and ground military campaign in response has left over 11,000 people in Gaza dead, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

More than 20,000 attend pro-Palestinian rally in Brussels
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