Iraqis organise anti-Israel protests over Gaza attacks
May 16 2021 12:45 AM
Iraqis gather in the capital Baghdad’s Tahrir square for a solidarity march with the Palestinians, yesterday, on the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba.


Chanting crowds gathered in several Iraqi cities yesterday, some burning Israeli and American flags, in protest against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of demonstrators shouted anti-Israeli slogans, held signs saying “Death to Israel, death to America” and waved Palestinian flags.
The rallies, called by powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and other paramilitary leaders, were held as Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza and Palestinian fighters fired rockets on Tel Aviv and other cities in the worst escalation in the region since 2014.
Sadr, who has millions of followers in Iraq and controls a large paramilitary group, pledged his support to Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.
Mass public gatherings have been rare in Iraq since security forces and militia groups crushed anti-government protests last year and amid regular curfews to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The government had announced a 10-day curfew over the Eid holiday in response to rising coronavirus infections.
The curfew was partially lifted the day before the anti-Israel demonstrations.
Political leaders aligned to militias joined the call for Iraqis to take to the streets in a rare show of unity by rival factions which are competing for power ahead of a general election slated for October.
Sadr and other groups see Israel and the United States as enemies and vehemently oppose the possibility of restoring diplomatic links with Israel as two Gulf states have done.

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