10,000 people march in Paris against Israeli airstrikes on Rafah

28 May 2024

Thousands of people protested near the Israeli embassy in Paris to protest the airstrike on an evacuation site in Rafah. Crowds gathered a few hundred meters from the Israeli embassy in Paris on May 27, chanting "we are all sons of Gaza," "Free Gaza" and pro-Palestinian slogans.

The protest came a day after Israeli airstrikes on the Tel Al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah, where thousands were taking refuge after evacuating from other parts of the strip, killing at least 45 people and injuring 249, according to health authorities in the Gaza Strip. Many countries and international coalitions have spoken out against Israel.

"This is a massacre, so many dead," said François Rippe, a member of the Franco-Palestinian Solidarity group, which organized the protest. "They set fire to the camp for evacuees and we didn't even summon the Israeli ambassador to demand accountability. Unacceptable."

Paris police said about 10,000 people took part in the march. They held large banners featuring French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu with the slogan "they are assassinating humanity". The Israeli military said it killed two senior Hamas commanders in the airstrike. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu later acknowledged that the strike on the evacuee shelter was a "tragic mistake" and that the government was investigating.

French President Emmanuel Macron on May 27 expressed outrage over the incident. "There is a need for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Campaigns like this must stop. There are no safe areas for civilians in Rafah," Macron tweeted. The United States, Tel Aviv's closest ally, also demanded that Israel take all precautions to protect Palestinian civilians.

Rafah is the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, currently home to about 1.4 million Palestinians after evacuating from other parts of the strip. Israel began its ground operation in Rafah earlier this month, despite repeated warnings from the international community, including the United States, that the move could lead to a large-scale humanitarian crisis

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