Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators turned out on
the streets of London, Paris, and Oslo on Friday to call
for an end to Israeli military strikes on Gaza.
Several thousand people crowded the streets outside the
Israeli Embassy in west London, waving placards that
read "Gaza: End the Siege" and "Freedom for Palestine."
The crowds blocked an entire road, and several
protesters managed to climb on top of a double-decker
bus stuck in traffic, but police said the protest was
Norwegian news website The Local reported that some
3,000 protestors gathered in front of the Norwegian
parliament in Oslo calling for the end of violence in
the region. The event was organized by the Palestine
Committee of Norway and other organizations.
A smaller protest took place in Paris Friday, where
about 100 people demonstrated near the French Foreign
Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags. One woman shouted
"Palestine will survive" had the flag painted on her
Stephane Frappreau, who identified himself as Jewish,
said the demonstrations were about "defending humanity
and about stopping the massacre."
"I think that people tend to forget that Palestinians
are people who are suffering, kids and women, who are
dying every day," Frappreau said. "And I think that
people shouldn't confuse things or come to quick
conclusions, because being against Israel as we are
today is not about being anti-Semitic."
France has both Western Europe's largest Jewish
community and its largest Muslim population, and the
French government has been walking a careful line on the
Gaza developments. President Francois Hollande issued a
statement earlier this week in support of Israel that
prompted criticism because it failed to mention
Palestinian victims. He later spoke with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyau and Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, then issued new statements expressing
support for each and concern for all victims. He
condemned violence and urged a return to peace talks.
More demonstrations were planned for the weekend.
In London, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David
Cameron said earlier he supported Israel in the face of
attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians.