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      Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris

      Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris
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      Middle East

      Thousands Protest Israel's Ground Invasion in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris

      By Liz Fields

      Around 3,000 peaceful demonstrators converged in the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday to call for an end to Israel's ground incursion in Gaza, as activists around the world also united in support of Palestinian civilians in the ongoing war.

      Even as both sides agreed to extend a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire until midnight, thousands rallied at Rabin Square outside the city hall in Tel Aviv. Some lit candles for the more than 1,000 Palestinians and 40 Israelis killed in the crossfire since the conflict began on July 8.

      A smaller counter-rally was also staged by a few dozen people nearby, according to local media.

      Across the globe, pro-Palestinian protestors have risen in solidarity with the victims and angrily opposed Israeli's military offensive in Gaza, home to more than 1 million Palestinians.

      In Paris, activists defied a prior police ban on their march, streaming into the Place de la Republique bearing Palestinian flags. Last week, a police-banned protest organized by the same groups resulted in heavy clashes between riot police and demonstrators.

      Meanwhile, in London, a similar rally was taking place on Saturday near the Israeli embassy, where an estimated 45,000 people amassed before marching to Parliament.

      A day before, in the city of Durban, thousands of South Africans called for their government to boycott Israel and cut off ties with Israeli leaders.

      The widespread range of support across the world in countries such as the US, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia has been manifested in various social media campaigns and even sprouted the Twitter hashtags #freepalestine and #IStandWithPalestine.

      Many social media pundits have been posting pictures of the hashtags written on their hands, while holding a passport to show the diversity of support for the Palestinian cause.

      Others have similarly posted messages of support in the inverse, scrawling #IStandWithIsrael on their hands instead. A campaign has also been launched on Facebook called “Standing with IDF,” in which women have professed their love and support for the Israeli Defense Force by adorning their semi-nude bodies with slogans of support.

      Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields

      Topics: middle east, war & conflict, israel, gaza, palestine, john kerry, hamas, ban ki-moon, gaza cease-fire

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