World Bulletin/News Desk
Thousands of people rallied in the Belgian capital on Sunday to protest Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, which have killed over 1,000 Palestinians.
As many as 5,000 people gathered in front of the train station Gare de Bruxelles-Nord and marched to Jean Rey Square in the European quarter of Brussels, carrying Palestinian, Belgian and Turkish flags, and chanting slogans such as "Child murderer Israel", "Terrorist Israel", and "Where is Belgium and the EU?"
Supported by several Palestinian associations as well as trade unions, the crowds condemned the killings in the Gaza Strip, and called on the Belgian government and the European Union to impose sanctions against Israel.
"All these attempts by Israel to colonize the West Bank, occupy Gaza, build a wall are all reason enough that finding a solution becomes impossible. The conflict is not religious but a political one," Jacques Varrasse, Coordinator of Belgium-Palestine Association said.
"A solution will not be found by launching missiles on the people of Gaza, who are permanently trapped in an outdoor prison. The international community must recognize the Palestinian state," Varrasse added.
Meanwhile, a group of around 400 Jews gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy and lit candles for the Israeli soldiers killed in the Gaza combat.
"For the past two weeks, we have been seeing pro-Palestine protests where Israeli flags have been burned, and crowds have been waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags and chant slogans calling for death to Jews", said Joel Rubinfeld, President of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism (LBCA).
Local authorities should not allow such anti-Semitic protests, he said.
The Palestinian death toll from Israel's ongoing military offensive in the blockaded Gaza Strip rose to 1031 on Sunday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Around 6037 Gazans have been injured since the beginning of the Israeli onslaught on July 7, which Israel said aims at halting rocket fire emanating from the blockaded strip.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.
On Saturday, rescue workers managed, during a 12-hour humanitarian lull, to recover the bodies of 147 Palestinians, including children and women, from the rubble of homes devastated by Israeli strikes on the eastern and southern parts of Gaza.
At least 43 Israeli troops were also killed in Gaza combat, while three civilians were killed by Gaza rocket attacks on Israeli cities.Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2014, 09:55