Rallies were held in major cities of the world in support of Palestinians on Saturday as Israel continued bombing Gaza killing more than 140 people, including children.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in support of Palestinians in European cities, including London, Berlin, Madrid and Paris.
In London, protesters carrying placards reading “Stop Bombing Gaza” and chanting “Free Palestine” converged on Marble Arch, near Hyde Park, to march towards the Israeli embassy.
Packed crowds stretched all along Kensington High Street where the embassy is located.
Organisers claimed as many as 150,000 people had gathered for the London march, one of several across Britain, though London police said they were unable to confirm any figure.
“This time is different,” Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot told the demonstrators.
“This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression.”
Protesters were critical of the United States, “who was unfairly backing Israel,” and urged Washington to “make peace and stop what’s happening”.
Later Saturday, two Leicester players, England’s Hamza Choudhury and France’s Wesley Fofana, held a Palestinian flag after their team won the FA Cup final.
In Madrid, some 2,500 people, many of them young people wrapped in Palestinian flags, marched to the Puerta del Sol plaza in the city centre.
“This is not a war, it’s genocide,” they chanted.
Thousands marched in Berlin and other German cities following a call by the Samidoun collective.
Three marches were authorised in Berlin’s working-class Neukoelln southern district, home to large numbers of people with Turkish and Arab roots.
The protesters shouted “Boycott Israel” and threw paving stones and bottles at the police, leading to several arrests.
Other protests were held in Frankfurt, Leipzig and Hamburg.
On Tuesday, Israeli flags were burnt in front of two synagogues in Bonn and Muenster.
Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held there despite a ban by authorities.
Some threw stones or tried to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part police pursued groups across the district while preventing a planned march toward the Place de la Bastille.
The march had been banned on Thursday over concerns of a repeat of fierce clashes that erupted at a similar Paris march during the last war in 2014, when protesters took aim at synagogues and other Israeli and Jewish targets.
“France is the only democratic country to ban these demonstrations,” said a statement from lawyers for the Association of Palestinians in the Paris region.
In Greece, police said around a thousand people marched on the US embassy in Athens. Riot police used water cannon and there were minor scuffles with protesters in front of the embassy, news agency AFP reported.
In Rome, a few hundred people gathered near the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica, carrying large Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.
“No need to be Muslim to support the Palestinians,” read one placard: “You just need to be a human being.”
NORTH AMERICA: Across North America, in turn, gatherings to show solidarity with Palestinians took place in cities including Boston, Washington, Montreal and Dearborn, Michigan.
Several hundred people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
They waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Freedom for Gaza.”
In Tunisia, demonstrations took place in several cities. Hundreds of demonstrators draped in Palestinian flags gathered in central Tunis, before marching on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, watched by police.
MEDIA HOUSES DESTROYED: Meanwhile, Israeli forces on Saturday bombed a 13-storey building housing several international media offices, including those of US-based Associated Press and Qatar-based Al Jazeera, razing it to the ground in the process.
Israel “destroyed Jala Tower in the Gaza Strip, which contains the Al Jazeera and other international press offices,” Al Jazeera said in a tweet, with an AP journalist saying the army had warned the tower’s owner ahead of the strike.
According to AP: “The airstrike Saturday came roughly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the building. There was no immediate explanation for why the building was targeted. The building houses the Associated Press, Al Jazeera and offices and apartments.”
ISRAEL ATTACKS: The Israeli bombardment began Monday, after Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas fired rockets towards Jerusalem.
That was in response to bloody Israeli police action at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, as well as a crackdown on protests against the planned Israeli expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in annexed east Jerusalem.
DEATH TOLL 145: Since Monday, Israeli air and artillery strikes on Gaza have killed 145 people including 41 children, and wounded 1,100 more, health officials say.
Palestinian armed groups have fired at least 2,300 rockets at Israel since, killing 10 people, including a child and a soldier. More than 560 Israelis have been wounded.