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Monday 23, October

Thousands join Israel and Palestine demos over weekend

Germany's president spoke at the Israel demo on Sunday, while the previous day saw thousands march for Palestine.

Photo: IMAGO / A. Friedrichs

Monday 23, October

More than 10,000 join Berlin demonstration for Israel, 3,500 for Palestine

On Sunday afternoon, a demonstration in support of Israel took place near Brandenburger Tor in central Berlin, with the president of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) giving speeches. Both politicians spoke of the country’s duty to protect its Jewish citizens.

Steinmeier said he found it unbearable that “Jews are afraid again today – in Germany of all places.” A particularly emotional moment of the demonstrations came when Roni Roman, a relative of one of the hostages, sang a birthday song for her sister who remains in captivity. Police gave the number of participants at 10,000, although organisers gave the higher number of 25,000.

The day before, on Saturday afternoon, Berlin saw its first officially-permitted large scale demonstration by supporters of Palestine. Under the slogan “DECOLONISE! AGAINST OPPRESSION GLOBALLY!” organisers called on participants “against ethnic cleansing, against apartheid, against genocide in Gaza”. This demonstration was also well-attended, with police giving the number of participants at 3,500.