Thousands of Protesters in Paris Call for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

Thousands of people participated in a demonstration in Paris on Saturday, March 9, 2024, where pro-Palestinian activist and European election candidate Rima Hassan was present to demand an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza after over five months of war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas. According to the police prefecture, the procession brought together 11,500 demonstrators. An organizer announced “60,000 people” on the microphone.

Responding to a call from the Urgence Palestine collective, supported by France Insoumise (LFI), the protesters, holding up posters saying “SOS Gaza” and Palestinian flags, set off from Place de la République and finished their march around 5 p.m. at Place de la Bourse. They chanted “Stop genocide,” “Israel, apartheid, boycott,” and “Free Palestine.”

LFI leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the head of the party’s list for the European elections Manon Aubry, and Rima Hassan, who is also on this list, were present in the procession.

“A few months ago, it was as a citizen that I joined all these mobilizations,” said the Franco-Palestinian activist at the start of the demonstration. “Today, I am delighted to continue them alongside a political family, a political movement, and that of France Insoumise,” she added. “France’s voice matters, and more than ever it must resonate to the European Parliament to once again obtain an immediate and permanent ceasefire and peace between peoples.”

In Lyon, around 750 people, according to the prefecture of Rhône, marched in the city center behind a large banner saying “End the criminal siege of Gaza.”

A “peace march” of 36 km, the distance between the city of Gaza and Rafah, was also organized from Strasbourg.

In Nantes, 800 people demonstrated “calmly,” according to the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique. The mayor of the city, Johanna Rolland, wrote on X: “Present at the demonstration in Nantes this afternoon to demand an immediate ceasefire. 30,000 dead and famine in Gaza: the massacre of civilian populations must stop. Hostages must be freed.”

After over five months of a devastating war triggered by Hamas’ attack, Israeli strikes on Gaza have not stopped. In the last 24 hours, at least 82 people died there, bringing the death toll in Gaza since the start of the conflict to 30,960, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

Hamas’ attack on October 7 resulted in the death of at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, in southern Israel, according to an AFP count based on official sources.

Around 250 people were also abducted and taken to Gaza that day, and 130 hostages are still being held there, with 31 reportedly dead according to Israel.

In response, Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union.

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