Thousands of people around the world have shown support for Palestinians in protests some of the worst fights between Israelis and Palestinians since the Gaza war in 2014, with demonstrators from Canada to Japan waving flags and chanting “Free Palestine” on Saturday.
The protests come as tension and violence in the region escalate, with at least 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis killed, including children.
The violence began when Israeli security forces attacked Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan last week, injuring dozens of worshipers and forcing Hamas to retaliate with rocket fire. Israeli police too violently repressed the demonstrators demonstrating against the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Videos also showed The Israeli Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a flurry of rockets.
Saturday, an Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing eight children and two women. Hours later, further airstrikes destroyed a 12-story residential building in Gaza that housed international news outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, in a move 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 journalists had to leave material behind – was necessary because it contained “Hamas military intelligence resources.“The Associated Press, however, mentionned there was “no indication that Hamas was in the building or active in the building.”
“This is something that we are actively checking to the best of our ability,” the news agency said in a statement. “We would never knowingly endanger our journalists.”
President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, expressing “serious concern” on the situation but without directly mentioning the Israeli airstrikes, according to a reading of the appeal.
The latest wave of violence has pushed people around the world to come together in solidarity, with some protesters facing police violence.