Civil rights groups stand in solidarity with Palestinians; protests all over India against Israeli attack on Gaza

By Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: Several civil rights and Muslim groups in India have extended their solidarity in support of Palestinians as Israel is continuing their air strike on Gaza, on the pretext of provocation by Hamas. From Delhi to Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc different groups are staging protest outside the Israeli Embassy and consulates.

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On Sunday, hundreds of protesters, that included students, youths, intellectuals, artists and ordinary citizens, gathered carrying banners and posters outside the Embassy under the banner of ‘Indian People in Solidarity with Gaza’. They submitted a memorandum to the Israeli ambassador in India and demanded to immediately put an end to the attacks.

Protesters outside Israeli Embassy, Delhi. Photo: Mukul Dube.
Protesters outside Israeli Embassy, Delhi. Photo: Mukul Dube.

Anti-Zionist-imperialist, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian people slogans were raised in this demonstration too, as the speakers expressed their solidarity with the innocent ordinary population of Gaza and demanded from Israel to immediately put an end to what they termed as genocide.

A similar protest was organized outside the Israeli Consulate in Mumbai too on Sunday. People in Hyderabad too raised strong voice condemning Israel’s recent air strikes on the Palestinian lands, which killed at least 165 innocent civilians and injured thousands other while also damaging numerous properties. Over 1500 protesters gathered near PV Narsimha Rao Express Way in Mehdipatnam area under the banner of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) Hyderabad chapter on Sunday to express their anguish over killings and destruction in Gaza.

Protestors have been assembling in different parts of the country from Kerala to Kashmir expressing their solidarity with the Palestinians, while condemning the Israeli attack.

PFI protest in Delhi on July 12.
PFI protest in Delhi on July 12.

Some of the slogans raised by them were: “Murdering 11 months old is not self-defense”, “You don’t need to be a Muslim to stand up with Gaza”, “Stop Bombing, End the Siege on Gaza”, “Saudia Yahudia”, “Masoomo ka khoon baha, UN, Saudi khamoosh raha” (why UN & Saudi is silent on killings of innocents), and “Solidarity with Palestinians”.

On Saturday too several members of the Popular Front of India marched towards the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, condemning what they termed “Zionist attack” on innocent Palestinians that included women and children.

All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, the apex body of Indian Muslim organisations, has also condemned the continuing Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza Strip who are already reeling under the Israeli blockade since 2006.

Protest in Hyderabad
Protest in Hyderabad

President of AIMMM, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, said it is lamentable that the Arab countries, especially Egypt, have failed to stop the Israeli aggression. Dr Khan said this is the third Israeli war on the people of Gaza Strip since 2006 when it started its illegal blockade after Hamas came to power through a fair election.

Israel’s aggression on a territory which is under its occupation since June 1967, is a simple war crime. Dr Khan said, it is the duty of the Arab countries and human rights organisaitons to take Israel to the World Court of Justice and to impose strict boycott of Israel until it is forced to see reason, stops aggression and withdraws from occupied territories.

Earlier, on July 12 Welfare Party of India had expressed “serious concern over the worst human crisis at Gaza created by the inhuman, violent and disproportionate use of aerial force by Israel.” The Federal Executive meeting of the Party held here, presided over by national President Mujthaba Farooque also expressed anguish over the apathy of the international community. The Party asked the UN and other countries to put sufficient political and diplomatic pressure on Israel and to use economic embargo to halt the attack. The Party came down heavily on the Arab and Gulf states for not fulfilling their moral responsibility in reaching out to Gaza.

Protest in Mumbai
Protest in Mumbai

Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Omari, Amir (National President) of India’s influential Islamic group Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s (JIH) too has “strongly condemned” Israeli air strikes and termed the offensive “immoral and illegal” which is “against peace and justice”.

He asked Palestinians not to feel lonely for not having “no strong and sincere supportive Muslim nation in its neighbourhood” and assured that peace and justice-loving sympathizers are with them in their 65-year struggle for due rights.

While asking Muslim nations to help Palestinians in this difficult time as part of “religious and moral duty”, Maulana Omari urged Indian government not fall prey to Israel and continue its old policy of supporting Palestinian cause.

Civil rights groups believe that the Israeli onslaught is the reaction to thwart the unity effort between Fatah and Hamas. The siege of Gaza by Israel for the last many years have resulted in the deaths of many including innocent women and children.

Protest in Mumbai
Another photo of protest in Hyderabad

Indian was one of the first countries outside the Arab world to support the Palestinian cause and had boycotted Israel till 1980s. It now, however, enjoys strong strategic and business relations with Israel too, although it maintains to support the Palestine’s right to freedom. The response of the Indian Government, hence, was cautious as it tried to maintain a balance.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs has said, “India is deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, particularly heavy air strikes on Gaza resulting in tragic loss of civilian lives and heavy damage to property. At the same time India is alarmed at the cross border provocations resulting from rocket attacks against targets in parts of Israel. India calls upon both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking actions that may further exacerbate the situation and threaten the peace and security of the region.”