Thursday July 18, 2024

5,500 people march in Munich in solidarity with Palestinians

Published : 12 Nov 2023, 23:14

  DF News Desk
Participants in a demonstration entitled "Stop the war - freedom for Palestine" protest in the Bavarian capital Munich on Sunday. Photo: Lukas Barth/dpa.

Up to 5,500 people took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Munich at the weekend, German police said on Sunday, reported dpa.

The demonstration in Bavaria's capital on Saturday afternoon was mostly peaceful, however police said there were a small handful of incidents related to the use of prohibited signs or the glorification of criminal offences.

One case involved the slogan "From the river to the sea," a decades-old Palestinian rallying cry that has been heard at protests around the world.

The phrase was recently banned in Bavaria.

It dates back to the 1960s and was used by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). It expresses the hope for a Palestinian state that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea - territory that includes Israel.

The slogan has also been picked up in recent years by Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel.

The demonstrators in Munich called for a ceasefire in the Gaza war.

The rally under the name "Stop the War - Freedom for Palestine" was organized by the Munich branch of the "Palestine Speaks" movement.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the wake of Hamas' terrorist attack on Israel and Israel's subsequent military campaign in Gaza have drawn enormous scrutiny and controversy in Germany.

Some participants have made anti-Semitic remarks or expressed support for Hamas.

Local authorities have repeatedly cited those instances in issuing outright bans against some demonstrations. This in turn has fuelled charges that the German state is restricting the freedoms of expression and assembly.