Report – By the PMC news desk
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the New Zealand cities of Auckland and Wellington yesterday, as major demonstrations across the globe denounced the Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a largely one-sided conflict.
Many placards at the Auckland demostration condemned the Israeli “genocide” and “terrorism”.
Palestinian and other New Zealand families were out in force for the demonstrations to emphasise the high death rate of children in the past two weeks of attacks on the people of Gaza.
Although Israel has unilaterally extended a “humanitarian truce” from 11 hours to 24 after 19 days of fighting, the Palestinian death toll has passed 1000, mostly civilians with a high proportion of women and children.
The Israeli death toll has climbed to 42 – all but three of them soldiers.
The Auckland and Wellington demonstrators called for action from the New Zealand government and people throughout the country.
Janfrie Wakim, of the 30-year-old Auckland-based Palestinian Human Rights Committee (PHRC), condemned the “outrageous military might of Israel [acting] with the complicity of America and all of the free Western world”.
She added: “It is shameful that our country has not stood up with and not stood with the oppressed people of Palestine.”
In Paris, French police arrested 70 people at a banned pro-Palestinian protest in the heart of the city that erupted into clashes between demonstrators and armour-clad riot squads.
Radio reports estimated a crowd of 25,000 people protesting against Israel in the French capital´s Place de la Republique.