Tunisians take to streets in protest against Gaza hospital bombing and Western complicity
17/10/2023 22:40, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP/ Ahmed Gaddeh) - A mass protest of Tunisian citizens filled the Habib Bourguiba Avenue on Tuesday night, vehemently expressing their outrage over the recent bombing of a hospital in Gaza, which has reportedly claimed the lives of over 500 innocent individuals.

The demonstrators resolutely voiced their condemnation of what they referred to as "acts of violence" and decried the perceived complicity of Western nations in the suffering of the unarmed Palestinian population. Their rallying cries echoed through the streets, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

The protest culminated outside the French embassy, where the protestors called upon President Saied to take decisive action by expelling diplomats representing nations they deemed "complicit" in the tragic events that unfolded in Gaza, particularly affecting infants, women, and elderly civilians. Tunisian citizens of all ages and backgrounds joined this spontaneous march in the wake of the devastating incident, garnering the support of various political figures and a considerable number of Palestinians living in Tunis.

Among the prominent figures in the protest was former Education Minister Mohamed Hamdi, who implored President Saied to remove the French and American ambassadors from Tunis, deeming them "parties to a grave offense."

Hamdi, in a statement to TAP News Agency, emphasised the pressing need for Arab leaders to promptly take tangible measures in support of the Palestinian people. He also stressed the importance of Egyptian authorities facilitating humanitarian assistance to Gaza by opening the Rafah Border Crossing.

Lawyer Samir Dilou also joined the demonstrators in denouncing Western governments, stating, "The Zionist enemy does not stand alone in this conflict; they benefit from a sympathetic media narrative and receive weaponry from Western nations that openly endorse this calamity. Regrettably, they are further bolstered by the disheartening silence of the Arab world," Dilou told TAP. He went on to express his deep sorrow over the hospital bombing, particularly the loss of innocent lives.

The gathering of protesters united in singing the Tunisian national anthem and chanting slogans that called for the freedom of Palestine. They also voiced their demand for the expulsion of the French ambassador, while levying criticism against the French and American Presidents, labelling them as "perpetrators" and "war criminals."

Ahmed Hwaihi, a Palestinian student residing in Tunis, urgently appealed to advocates of humanity and human rights to stand up against what he characterised as a "Zionist atrocity against unarmed civilians in Gaza." He commended the unwavering support of the Tunisian people and authorities, highlighting the disparity in responses from other Arab regimes, particularly the disappointing stance of the League of Arab States. Hwaihi emphasised the honourable position taken by Tunisia, urging other Arab leaders to follow suit.

An Israeli airstrike had targeted Gaza City's Al-Ahli hospital, where a significant number of civilians sought medical care and refuge from continuous assaults. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the bombing of the hospital left no fewer than 500 casualties.

A United Nations-run school, which provided shelter to refugees, was also affected by the attack.

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