‘Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza’: Israel responds to video showing combined LGBTQ and Palestinian flag being flown at protest – as activists march through London
- Israel’s posted on X: ‘Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza as a thank you for your solidarity’
Israel has responded to a video showing combined LGBTQ and Palestinian flag being flown at a protest in New York as activists marched through London.
Israel’s X account shared a post accompanied by a video that read: ‘A combined LGBTQ + Palestine flag in New York protest today. Why are there so many ‘queers FOR Palestine’, but absolutely no ‘queers IN Palestine’?’
The shared post carried the message from Israel: ‘Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza as a thank you for your solidarity.’
On Sunday, fighting in Gaza raged for a 23rd day as Israel pounded Hamas-ruled Gaza in an escalating air and ground campaign as the UN warned civil order was ‘starting to break down’ in the besieged Palestinian territory.
The previous day, thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters poured onto the streets of Brooklyn, New York’s largest district to voice their anger at Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Israel wrote in its X post, sharing the video: ‘Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza as a thank you for your solidarity’
The demonstrations in London on Saturday marked the third week in a row that the capital has been consumed by the Middle East protests and was marred by several shocking incidents
The shared post carried the message from Israel: ‘Looking forward to seeing Hamas raise the rainbow flag across Gaza as a thank you for your solidarity’
Home to between 1.6 and two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, New York has for the past three weeks been rocked by demonstrations, rallies and vigils in support of the Palestinians and Israel.
Left-wing American Jewish activists are also up in arms against Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.
Hundreds of people were arrested on Friday when police broke up a large demonstration of mostly Jewish New Yorkers who had taken over the main hall of Manhattan’s Grand Central station in protest at Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
‘We’re mobilising all across New York City , flooding Brooklyn,’ to call for the ‘liberation (of) each and every single Palestinian’, said 21-year-old protester Abdullah Akl.
Protest organiser Nerdeen Kiswani took aim at American ‘politicians’ for their unwavering support of Israel.
‘We are here as New Yorkers to say that we’re against this and we’re against the politicians, the local politicians as well like New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul , who have both pledged unconditional support to Israel,’ said Kiswani.
Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators carrying banners and Palestinian flags, march from Brooklyn Museum to Union Square in Manhattan, New York City, United States on October 28, 2023
People take part in a protest in support of the Palestinian people in New York on October 28, 2023
A woman holds a Palestinian flag as Pro-Palestinian protesters attend ‘Flood Brooklyn for Gaza’ demonstration, as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in New York, U.S., October 28, 2023
Their stance ‘means that they provide unconditional support to the killing of our people,’ added Kiswani.
Adams, who governs a city of nearly nine million people, including the world’s largest Jewish community after Israel, has repeatedly assured pro-Israel rallies that Israel’s ‘fight’ is New York’s fight too.
New York media and AFPTV estimated the crowd at thousands of demonstrators, who waved ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘By any means necessary’ placards.
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Meanwhile, demonstrations in London on Saturday marked the third week in a row that the capital has been consumed by the Middle East protests and was marred by several shocking incidents.
Footage shows protesters holding a large banner reading ‘Lesbians and Gays Support The Migrants’.
And Just Like That star Sara Ramirez was spotted carrying a trans rights flag as they joined thousands of protesters at a ‘free Palestine’ rally in Brooklyn on Saturday.
The 48-year-old non-binary actor wore a keffiyeh – a monochrome patterned scarf which is a patriotic symbol of Palestinian identity – with a black North Face jacket, cap and dark sunglasses as they marched through the Bay Ridge neighborhood.
The use of LGBT paraphernalia at pro-Palestine protests has baffled many, since the Islamic Middle Eastern state follows sharia law, and as noted by Amnesty International, it is not safe for the queer community.
Others see the fight for queer rights and anti-colonialism as intertwined because anti-gay laws were first introduced in Palestine by Britain in 1885 – though former colonial powers have since abolished such legislation in their own countries.
Ramirez posted an Instagram story of the protest on Saturday with the crowd chanting the age-old rallying cry: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, while the demonstrator in front carried a sign demanding a ‘ceasefire’.
The Metropolitan Police have been accused of allowing Central London to become a ‘no-go zone’ for Jews after thousands of people marched in support of Palestine with some seen carrying effigies of dead babies and chanting ‘globalise the Intifada.’
In full view of police officers, protesters chanted for the massacre of Jews, bounced effigies of dead babies on flags and called for ‘global intifadas’.
Police made nine arrests in total following the protest, with authorities saying ‘a number’ of these were being treated as linked to hate crimes.
Anger had already erupted last night after a video emerged showing a woman taking part in the pro-Palestine march through London on Sunday holding an effigy of a dead baby and shouting ‘Slaughter the Jews’.
Police are appealing for information to identify her and a second woman, who both led the chant in full view of dozens of onlookers.
In other shocking videos posted online, protesters can be seen bouncing effigies of dead babies up and down on a Palestinian flag while chanting.
Another picture taken from the demonstrations yesterday showed a coffin being drawn along by a bike.
One post on X carried the message, accompanying a video: ‘LGBT activists in London support immigrants and Palestine’
And Just Like That star Sara Ramirez has been spotted among protesters at a ‘free Palestine ‘ rally in Brooklyn
People protest during a National March for Palestine organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in London, Britain, 28 October 2023
Activists march out of Waterloo station having occupied the concourse for a couple of hours in protest at the bombing of Gaza on October 28, 2023
Transport Police are surrounded by several hundred activists at Embankment station demand the release of an arrested individual following the protest at Waterloo station on October 28, 2023 in London, England
Protestors march in solidarity with Palestine, demanding a ceasefire amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on October 28, 2023 in London
More than 5,000 people protested in Athens on Sunday calling for an end to the ‘massacre’ of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The Athens demonstrators branded Israel a ‘murderous state’ and also denounced the Greek government for abstaining at Friday’s UN vote for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday steeled the nation for a ‘long and difficult war’ ahead as the Red Cross voiced shock at the ‘intolerable’ human suffering inside Gaza.
Despite calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and outrage across the Muslim world, Israel has intensified the war triggered by Hamas’s unprecedented attack more than three weeks ago.
Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border on October 7 in the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping 230 others, according to Israeli officials.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says the unrelenting retaliatory Israeli bombardment has killed more than 8,000 people, mainly civilians and half of them children.
Israel’s army said ‘stage two’ of the war started with ground incursions since late Friday.
On Sunday the military said it had struck another 450 Hamas targets within the past 24 hours, and that it was increasing its ground forces in Gaza.
A picture taken from Israel’s southern city of Sderot shows a fire erupting following Israeli shelling of the northern Gaza Strip, on October 29, 2023
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardment on Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023
In a late-night televised address on Saturday, Netanyahu announced a ‘second stage of the war whose goals are clear: Destroying the military and leadership capabilities of Hamas, and bringing the hostages back home’.
He vowed to ‘eradicate’ Hamas ‘for the sake of our existence’.
Panic and fear have surged inside Gaza, where more than half of its 2.4 million residents are displaced, according to the UN, and thousands of buildings have been destroyed.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said the situation was ‘growing more desperate by the hour’ as casualties increase and essential supplies of food, water, medicine and shelter dwindle.
He reiterated appeals for a ceasefire to end the ‘nightmare’.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, on Sunday said ‘thousands of people’ broke into several of its warehouses and distribution centres in Gaza, grabbing basic survival items like wheat flour and hygiene supplies.
READ MORE: Gazans told to move south NOW after Israeli airplanes pounded ‘450 Hamas sites’ during blitz ahead of full ground invasion – as IDF prepares for brutal guerilla fighting with terrorists inside civilian areas at start of ‘long war’
‘This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down,’ it said.
Inside Gaza, where petrol and diesel have virtually run out, donkey cart driver Raafat Najjar told AFP ‘there are no cars, we transport (people) on carts as there’s no fuel.’
Communications went down for days after Israel cut internet lines, although connectivity was gradually returning on Sunday.
Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, voiced shock at the ‘intolerable level of human suffering’ in Gaza and urged all sides to de-escalate.
‘This is a catastrophic failing that the world must not tolerate,’ she said.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said Israel was attacking ‘above the ground and below’, alluding to Hamas’s sprawling tunnel network.
Israeli fighter jets again dropped leaflets over Gaza City on Saturday, warning residents that the northern area was now a ‘battlefield’ and they should ‘evacuate immediately’.
Hamas authorities reported Sunday that a ‘large number’ of people were killed overnight in strikes on two refugee camps in northern Gaza.
Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari reiterated that Palestinian civilians should go south ‘to a safer area where they can receive water, food and medicine’.
After 84 aid trucks entered the territory in recent days, he vowed humanitarian efforts to Gaza would expand.
But Ibrahim Shandoughli a 53-year-old from Jabaliya in northern Gaza, told AFP he and his family went nowhere.
‘Where do you want us to evacuate to? All the areas are dangerous.’
Netanyahu in his address also acknowledged the intelligence failure that exposed Israel to the October 7 attack that stunned and infuriated the nation.
‘There was a terrible failure here, and it will be thoroughly examined,’ he said.
While Israel has mourned its dead, sympathy has swelled for the families whose loved ones were abducted by Hamas and are at heightened risk as the war intensifies in Gaza.
‘Bring them home,’ shouted relatives at a rally on Saturday.
Hamas has released four of them but this week said ‘almost 50’ had been killed by Israeli air strikes, a claim that was impossible to verify.
Netanyahu on Saturday assured hostage relatives that Israel would ‘exhaust every option to bring them home’.
‘We demanded that no action be taken that endangers the fate of our family members, and any step considered should take into account the safety of our loved ones,’ said Meirav Leshem Gonen, the mother of hostage Romi Gonen.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said it was prepared to release the hostages if Israel freed the Palestinian prisoners it was holding.
Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said the group was ready for an ‘immediate’ exchange.
Israeli shells strike the northern part of the Gaza Strip during sunset, on October 29, 2023
Israeli shells strike the northern part of the Gaza Strip during sunset, on October 29, 2023
Ifat Kalderon, whose cousin Ofer Kalderon is believed held in Gaza along with other relatives, told AFP she supported the idea of a prisoner release in exchange for the hostages.
‘Take them, we don’t need them here,’ she said. ‘I want my family and all the hostages to come back home.’
The ground operations have heightened fears that Israel’s other enemies – the Iran-allied ‘axis of resistance’ forces in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen – enter the conflict.
Israel’s ally the United States has warned Israel’s enemies to stay out and reinforced its military presence in the region.
Skirmishes have intensified on the Israeli-Lebanese border with Iran-backed Hamas ally Hezbollah, raising fears of a new front.
Shelling in south Lebanon injured a UN peacekeeper on Saturday, the mission’s spokesman said, hours after reporting a hit at its headquarters.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday warned on X, formerly Twitter, that Israel’s ‘crimes have crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action’.
Violence has also risen sharply in the occupied West Bank since the October 7 attacks, with more than 110 Palestinians killed, according to the territory’s health ministry.
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