Thousands of people in Muslim countries and beyond held demonstrations Friday in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. They called for an end to Israel’s blockade and airstrikes following a brutal incursion into southern Israel by fighters from the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.
Demonstrators headed to Israeli military checkpoints after Friday prayers in the West Bank and gathered in Iraq at the country’s border crossing with Jordan; in Jordan itself; in locations across Egypt; in Turkey’s capital Ankara and its most populous city of Istanbul; and in Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco and South Africa.
A Tuesday night explosion at a Gaza City hospital tending to wounded Palestinians and residents seeking shelter was a prominent theme in some of the demonstrations. The cause of the blast at al-Ahli Hospital has not been determined.
U.S. assessments said the explosion was not caused by an Israeli airstrike, as the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza initially reported. Israel has presented video, audio and other evidence it says proves the blast was caused by a rocket misfired by Palestinian militants, who denied responsibility.