Home News Protesters disrupt Israeli Memorial Day events over Gaza war

Protesters disrupt Israeli Memorial Day events over Gaza war


As Israel gathered across the country on Monday to mark its first national day of mourning since the October 7 attacks led by Hamas, protesters disrupted several ceremonies and demanded government ministers do more to secure the release of hostages.

Israel’s Memorial Day is typically one of the somber days on the country’s calendar, a day when Israelis put aside their differences to mourn fellow citizens killed in war or terror attacks. But Monday’s protests underscored how wartime sentiments of solidarity have given way to deep disputes over the war in Gaza, the fate of the hostages taken on Oct. 7 and domestic politics.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heckled by critics as he attends commemoration event mount herzl In Jerusalem, home to the Israel National Cemetery. Someone is heard shouting: “Trash”. Another said: “You took my baby.”

At a ceremony in Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast, onlookers shouted at National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, calling him a “criminal” before his supporters tried to drown them out.

While the government has managed to free more than 100 hostages kidnapped by Hamas in the attacks, at least half of the approximately 240 abductees have died or remain in captivity. Many of their loved ones want the government to agree to an immediate ceasefire with Hamas so that remaining captives can be released, even if it means giving Hamas control of parts of Gaza.

There is precedent for this kind of destruction.Protesters mock Mr Ben Gwire and other ministers last yearBefore the war began, anger at the government’s efforts to reform the justice system was the most prominent source of social divisions.

This year’s protests reflect growing anguish on the part of the population over the way Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition government has handled the war, which has caused huge casualties and destruction.

Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly promised a decisive victory over Hamas. But fighting in Gaza in recent days has underscored the notion that Hamas militants remain a force in the region and likely will remain a force long into the future. A pattern that emerged in the war was that after fierce fighting, the Israeli military declared it had taken control of an area and then moved on, only for Hamas militants to return and reorganize their forces.

Israeli airstrikes rocked the northern and southern ends of the territory on Monday, with the Israeli military saying it hit more than 120 targets in the past 24 hours. The Israeli military said ground forces were also fighting Hamas militants in multiple locations. Amid the fighting, tens of thousands of fleeing civilians continue to desperately search for safety.

Fighting appears to be fiercest in Gaza City, the northern Gaza towns of Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya, and the southern city of Rafah. More than a million Palestinians try to flee Israel’s military offensive moves further north. Hundreds of thousands of people have left Rafah in recent days, according to the United Nations.

Hamas said on Monday it fired mortars at Israeli soldiers near the Rafah crossing connecting Gaza and Egypt, which has been closed since Israel seized it last week.

A U.N. staff member was killed when a U.N. vehicle was hit on its way to a hospital in Rafah on Monday morning, a U.N. spokesman said on Monday. About 200 United Nations staff were killed in the conflict.

Immediately after October 7, led by Hamas, Israeli society rallied behind the government and military.But critics increasingly accuse Mr Netanyahu of failed to prevent attackIsraeli authorities said the incident killed about 1,200 people and prolonged the war without success in repatriating the hostages.

A Polls conducted this month A study by the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem-based research group, shows that most Israelis view the hostage deal as a higher priority than military action in Rafah.Israeli officials say the city Hamas’s last major stronghold in GazaBattalions of militants are housed there, but U.S. officials say the group’s leaders in the area are holed up in the city of Khan Younis, not Rafah.

Israel and Hamas have not yet agreed to a ceasefire The hostages were released despite months of mediation. Mr Netanyahu insists that Israeli troops will invade Rafah regardless of whether such a deal is reached, while his far-right coalition partners have threatened to overthrow the government if the war ends without Hamas’ total defeat .

Hecklers shouted at Transport Minister Miri Regev during a Memorial Day ceremony in Holon, central Israel, on Monday, calling for her resignation. One of them asked: “Where are the hostages?”

As Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attended the ceremony in Tel Aviv, one protester held a sign that read: “You have their blood on your hands.”

Israeli peace activists live-streamed the annual joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday night, with parallel events taking place in London, New York and Los Angeles.

The ceremony, organized by two peace-building organizations, Warriors for Peace and Parent Circle-Family Forum, sought to acknowledge not only Israel’s grief but also decades of Palestinian suffering.

The ceremony, which has been held annually since 2006, was pre-recorded this year to avoid the possibility of disruption by protesters. It includes speeches, songs, a poem about peace and a video of children in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank talking about the impact of war.

Palestinians in the West Bank did not participate in person, given that Israel stopped allowing many Palestinians to work in Israel after the Oct. 7 attacks. Speakers from Gaza also did not speak directly.

Gaza health officials say more than 35,000 people, mostly children and women, have died in Gaza during Israel’s military operation to defeat Hamas. Nearly everyone in Gaza has been displaced due to a hunger crisis that aid workers say is largely caused by Israeli restrictions on aid deliveries to the enclave.

The Peace Organization ceremony was screened in more than 200 venues across Israel, reflecting the diversity and complexity of views on the war within Israeli society. Several speakers discussed their hopes for an end to generations of bloodshed and peace.

Ghadir Hani read a submission from a Gaza woman named Najla, who described how she lost 20 family members in the war, including her brothers, two of whom The child’s father, her brother, was killed while visiting, she said. Provide food for his parents.

“They killed him while walking down the street but did not pose any threat,” Ms. Haney wrote. “Death machines are still ready to kill,” she added. “But I know there are a lot of people on the other side who believe in peace.”

Liam Stark and Lauren Leatherby Contributed reporting.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here