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Thousands demonstrate in Spain for arms embargo on Israel, support for Palestine

February 25, 2024 at 2:57 pm

Thousands of people march for the prohibition of arms trade with Israel and in support of Palestinians in Madrid, Spain on February 25, 2024 [Burak Akbulut – Anadolu Agency]

In a show of solidarity with Palestine and condemnation of Israel’s actions, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Spain in a wave of demonstrations demanding an immediate halt to arms trade with Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

Organised by left-wing civil society groups and supported by several political parties, the protests resonated with chants calling for an end to what demonstrators called the “genocide in Palestine” and urged for severing ties with Israel.

Led by left-wing Podemos leader Ione Belarra, the rallies gained momentum as she announced plans to present a motion in parliament seeking an arms embargo on Israel.

Belarra emphasised the need for sincerity from the government, accusing the current coalition of empty promises and no concrete action in its support for Palestine.

“We will see the sincerity of the government in the motion we will submit to parliament to impose an arms embargo on Israel. If they really want to stop the genocide and do not want to be an accomplice to Israel, they will ban arms trade,” she said.

The protests, which drew significant attendance in the capital Madrid, featured slogans denouncing Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza, where Israeli attacks have killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians.

Podemos, despite not being part of Spain’s ruling coalition, threw its weight behind the demonstrations, highlighting the unity among various factions in Spain in their support for Palestine.

Demonstrators also criticised Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares’ claims that Spain’s weapons trade with Israel had been halted since 7 October, dismissing them as false.

They cited commercial data indicating ongoing collaboration between Spanish companies and Israel in the military sector.

“Israel continues its massacre against Palestine strongly … This is not only against Palestinians but also colonialism and human rights crimes against the whole world. We must continue to raise our voices and insist that the international community intervene,” Maria Rocas, a protester in Madrid, told Anadolu.

The demonstrations, spanning over 100 cities and towns including Barcelona, Coruna, Malaga, and Tenerife, signify a resounding call from the Spanish populace for solidarity with Palestine and condemnation of Israel’s actions.

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