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Thousands Of People Protested In Support Of Palestinians In Major Cities Around The World

On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes hit a refugee camp, killing eight children, and a building housing international media.

Posted on May 15, 2021, at 6:54 p.m. ET

Sopa Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

A protester in London shows support for Palestinians.

Thousands of people across the world showed their support for Palestinians in protests amid some of the worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza War, with demonstrators from Canada to Japan waving flags and chanting "Free Palestine" on Saturday.

The protests come as tension and violence in the region grows, with at least 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis killed, including children.

The violence began when Israeli security forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan last week, injuring scores of worshippers and causing Hamas to retaliate with rocket fire. Israeli police also violently clamped down on protesters demonstrating against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Videos also showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a flurry of rockets.

On Saturday, an Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing eight children and two women. Hours later, more airstrikes destroyed a 12-floor residential building in Gaza that housed international news organizations, 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 reporters had to leave equipment behind — was necessary because it contained "Hamas military intelligence assets." The AP, however, said there was "no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building."

"This is something we actively check to the best of our ability," said a statement from the news organization. "We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk."

Video shows AP, AJ and other journalists gathering their equipments and gear to evacuate their offices in the 12-story al-Jala’ residential building in the heart of Gaza before bombed and destroyed it to the ground by missiles fired from its warplanes today. #Gaza #غزة_الآن

Twitter: @Ali_reports

President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, expressing "grave concern" about the situation but not mentioning Israeli airstrikes directly, according to a readout of the call.

The latest round of violence has caused people across the globe to rally in solidarity, with some protesters facing police violence as a result.

In Paris, riot police fired tear gas at thousands of peaceful protesters.

Protesters, including one holding the Palestinian flag, amid tear gas
Thomas Coex / AFP via Getty Images

MOMENTS BEFORE WE WERE GASSED IN #PARIS #barbes

Twitter: @thegazangirl

Organizers of a London protest estimated that the crowd reached 100,000 people Saturday.

Protesters, including one holding a sign that says "24 schools in Gaza destroyed this week; UK teachers say: Stop bombing Gaza, end Israeli apartheid"
Sopa Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Palestinian passions very much on display at Marble Arch. They plan to walk to the Israeli embassy which is a mile across Hyde Park.

Twitter: @JamWaterhouse

About 300 protesters rallied in Tokyo on Saturday.

Protesters holding up signs and the Palestinian flag
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Thousands rallied in Madrid.

Protesters on the King Carlos III statue in Puerta del Sol hold up the Palestinian flag
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

"We have been silent for many years. It is time for us to speak for all those Palestinians who are dying and defend them, because if we don't, no one else will," one protester in Madrid told Reuters.

Protesters hold up signs and the Palestinian flag
Marcos Del Mazo / LightRocket via Getty Images

Protesters also gathered in Mexico...

A woman wearing a "Palestina libre" mask wipes a tear from her eye
Claudio Cruz / AFP via Getty Images

...and in Canada...

Protesters holding up Palestinian flags gather on steps
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

...and in the US.

Protesters wave Palestinian flags and a sign reading, "The people united will never be defeated"
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Twitter: @jaybeware
Twitter: @joeyneverjoe

People gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Ireland...

Protesters, many wearing masks, hold up Palestinian and other flags and a "Free Palestine" sign
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

...and in front of the White House in Washington, DC.

Protesters holding up Palestinian flags and holding up signs gather
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Even in Tel Aviv, a woman raised a Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli military.

Ahmad Gharabli / AFP via Getty Images


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.