‘From the river to the sea’: 3,000 pro-Palestinian protesters march in Madrid against Israel

MADRID — Waving pro-Palestinian flags and banners, thousands march through the streets of Madrid to demand an immediate ceasefire in the deadly war between Israel and Hamas.

The crowd snakes under bright sunshine through closed-off streets in the Spanish capital from Atocha train station to the central Plaza del Sol square behind a large banner that read “Freedom for Palestine.”

Many wave Palestinian flags or carry signs that read “Peace for Palestine” and “Don’t ignore Palestinian suffering.”

Six ministers from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet took part — all five from hard-left party Sumar, his junior coalition partners, as well as Transport Minister Oscar Puente of the premier’s Socialist party.

“We need an immediate ceasefire, an end to the killing and attacks against innocents, we must achieve the release of all hostages,” Puente tells reporters at the start of the march.

Around 3,000 people are taking part in the demonstration, according to the central government’s delegation to Madrid, a much smaller turnout than the last protest in the Spanish capital on January 27, when some 20,000 participated.

Some chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a slogan that critics interpret as a call for the elimination of Israel. Chants of “It’s not a war, it’s genocide” are also heard.

Spain, Ireland and Belgium have been among the most critical in Europe of the way Israel has conducted its Gaza campaign.

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