HomeWorldMass demonstrations sweep Middle East following explosion in Gaza, prompting widespread unrest...

Mass demonstrations sweep Middle East following explosion in Gaza, prompting widespread unrest and concerns.

Protests Erupt in Middle East over Deadly Gaza Explosion

Protesters in the Middle East took to the streets on Wednesday to express their outrage over an explosion in Gaza that claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians. The incident marked the deadliest event in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, sparking widespread anger and violent demonstrations.

Violence Erupts as Demonstrators Voice Their Anger

Amid the protests, violence broke out in several locations across the region. In the West Bank, Israeli forces fatally shot two Palestinian teenagers during demonstrations against the blast at a Gaza hospital. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters who were throwing projectiles near the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

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One Lebanese demonstrator, Mohammed Taher, expressed his frustration, stating, “America is the real devil because it supported Israel, and the world is turning a blind eye to what happened yesterday?”

Conflicting Reports Surround the Gaza Explosion

Palestinian officials have attributed the explosion to an Israeli airstrike, while Israel claims it was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denies any involvement. The incident has further inflamed tensions in a region already reeling from the destructive actions of Hamas.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, carried out a cross-border rampage on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people and the taking of hostages. In response, Israel launched retaliatory bombings, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

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Protests Spread Across the Middle East

State-sponsored marches were organized throughout Iran, a staunch supporter of Hamas and a sworn enemy of Israel. Banners reading “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were proudly displayed by demonstrators. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in a televised speech, declared that every drop of Palestinian blood brings Israel closer to its downfall.

In Iraq, around 300 supporters of Iran-backed Shi’ite militia groups gathered near a bridge leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the U.S. embassy and other foreign missions. One militia member, Said Ali Akbar, emphasized, “Americans must know that their support for terrorist Israel will bring them defeat and devastation.”

In Jordan, riot police were deployed to push back thousands of protesters attempting to march on the Israeli embassy. Clashes ensued, resulting in several police officers being injured and property near the embassy being set ablaze. Chanting “No Zionist embassy on Arab land,” the demonstrators voiced their opposition to Israel’s presence in the region.

Similar scenes unfolded in Tunis, where protesters burned Israeli and American flags and demanded the expulsion of the U.S. and French ambassadors for what they perceived as their unconditional support for Israel. Ines Laswed, one of the demonstrators, expressed her concerns, stating, “They have no food or water, and they are getting bombed. This is genocide, not war. We must find a solution.”

Outpouring of Solidarity and Threats

Throughout the Middle East, protesters voiced their support for Hamas, with slogans like “Revenge … revenge … Oh Hamas, bomb Tel Aviv” echoing through the streets. Thousands also marched in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, where Mohammed Ali Al-Rammah of the ruling Houthi movement condemned Israeli lies and hatred, vowing to fight back.

In Beirut’s Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs, thousands gathered to protest, waving Hezbollah, Palestinian, and Lebanese flags. Senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine warned the U.S., Israel, and “malicious Europeans” to be cautious, claiming that the group was now “thousands of times stronger” than before.

Security Concerns and Travel Advisories

As tensions escalate, security concerns have risen across Europe, not only due to the Israel-Hamas conflict but also due to the threat of attacks by Islamist groups like ISIS. France, which lost 24 citizens in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, is advising against travel to Lebanon, especially near the border with Israel. Italy has also increased surveillance and protection in crowded areas to safeguard against potential attacks.

In response to the volatile situation in southern Lebanon, Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens to leave the country. The border region has been a hotspot for clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

As the protests continue and tensions remain high, the Middle East finds itself engulfed in a deepening crisis with no immediate end in sight.

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