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Brussels march calls for end to war in Gaza

 Tens of thousands of demonstrators from various European countries marched in Brussels on Sunday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Chanting slogans such as “stop the genocide in Palestine,” “resistance,” and “solidarity with the Palestinian people,” demonstrators marched from the Gare du Nord to the Place Jean Rey in the European quarter.

The demonstration, organized by a coalition of civil society organizations, including the Belgian-Palestinian Association, the French- and Dutch-speaking umbrella organization CNCD-11.11.11 and the Palestinian collective Beitna, drew some 40,000 participants.

The organizers called on the international community to take urgent action to secure a permanent ceasefire, protect civilians and free hostages. They also demanded an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip and increased access to humanitarian aid for the Palestinians.

Georges De Smul, president of 11.11.11 in Woluwe Saint-Lambert, said that the root of the issue lies in the fact that Palestine was not recognized as a state by the United Nations 70 years ago. He emphasizes that Palestine has a legitimate right to statehood.

Furthermore, the organizations have urged the European Union and its member states to impose a total international military embargo on Israel and to introduce economic and diplomatic sanctions against the country.

“The European Union is Israel’s biggest trading partner and has major levers of pressure at its disposal to play a proactive role and put an end to what more and more international institutions and NGOs are describing as genocide,” said Gregory Mauze, spokesman for the Belgian-Palestinian Association.

The demonstration in Brussels marks the sixth such large-scale protest in Belgium since the conflict began on Oct. 7, 2023. The organizers expressed their hope that international pressure will help bring an end to the hostilities and provide the much-needed aid to the Palestinian population.

The Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza has risen to 35,386, Palestinian health authorities in Gaza said on Saturday.

Famagusta Gazette