Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations Held in Madrid, Demanding Ceasefire and Severing Ties with Israel

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Madrid demanded a ceasefire in Gaza and urged Spain to cut ties with Israel. They condemned the situation in Gaza and highlighted Palestinian resilience.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators Rally in Madrid, Urging Ceasefire and Spain-Israel Ties Cut

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn Gaza Strip and urging the Spanish government to sever ties with Israel. The demonstration, organized by around 30 organizations, saw approximately 4,000 participants, according to authorities.

Carrying banners and placards condemning what they termed a "genocide" in Gaza, the protesters expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause and praised the resilience of the Palestinian people. Jaldia Abubakra, a 57-year-old protester, voiced concerns over the dire situation faced by Palestinians in southern Gaza, who have been repeatedly displaced, with no safe haven to seek refuge.

The rally coincided with the 76th anniversary of the "Nakba," or "catastrophe," marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that led to the establishment of the State of Israel.

In a show of support, Spanish university students have organized peaceful sit-ins and camps across major cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, mirroring similar pro-Palestinian movements on campuses across the United States and Europe.

Spanish universities have expressed their willingness to suspend ties with Israeli educational institutions that fail to demonstrate a "clear commitment to peace," highlighting Spain's critical stance towards Israel and its efforts to recognize a Palestinian state.

The escalation in Gaza began with a Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures. In retaliation, Israel launched an offensive that claimed the lives of at least 34,971 individuals in Gaza, predominantly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has been a long-standing issue, with far-reaching implications for regional stability and global peace efforts. The demonstrations in Madrid highlight the international support for the Palestinian cause and the growing call for a lasting ceasefire and a resolution to the conflict through diplomatic means.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched in Madrid, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and a severing of ties between Spain and Israel.
  • The rally commemorated the 76th anniversary of the "Nakba," marking the displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
  • Spanish university students have joined the solidarity movement, organizing peaceful sit-ins and camps across major cities.
  • Spanish universities have threatened to suspend ties with Israeli institutions that do not commit to peace.
  • The escalation in Gaza began with a Hamas attack, followed by an Israeli retaliatory offensive, resulting in significant civilian casualties on both sides.

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