Thousands of people around the world have shown their support for Palestinians in protests amid the worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza War. Protesters from Canada to Japan waved flags and sang “Free Palestine” on Saturday.
The protests come when tension and violence in the region increase and at least 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis are killed, including children.
The violence began when Israeli security forces raided the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan last week, injuring numerous worshipers and causing Hamas to retaliate with rocket fire. Israeli police also used violence against demonstrators demonstrating against the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood.
Videos also showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a flood of missiles.
On Saturday, an Israeli air strike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing eight children and two women. Hours later, more air strikes destroyed a 12-story apartment building in Gaza that housed international news organizations such as the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. This has been widely condemned as a threat to the free press in the region.
The Israeli military claimed that the strike on the building – which came so quickly that reporters had to leave equipment behind – was necessary because it contained “assets belonging to Hamas military intelligence.” However, the Associated Press said there was “no indication that Hamas is in the building or operating in the building”.
“This is something we are actively investigating to the best of our ability,” said a statement from the news organization. “We would never knowingly endanger our journalists.”
Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, President Joe Biden expressed “great concern” about the situation but made no direct reference to the Israeli air strikes.
The latest round of violence has seen people around the world come together in solidarity. As a result, some protesters have been subjected to police violence.