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Cyprus

Demonstrators stage sit-in at Presidential Palace, call for Gaza ceasefire

Presidential Palace, sit-in, demonstration, Palestine, Israel
Demonstrators in front of the Presidential Palace (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

In a display of solidarity, around 15 demonstrators gathered for a peaceful sit-in in front of the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, drawing attention to the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

The sit-in, organised to raise awareness about the situation, featured participants holding banners calling for an immediate ceasefire from Israel.

“We’re just heartbroken over the situation,” one participant, named Shona, told the Cyprus Mail.

“We are also frustrated because we have been chanting to empty buildings when we walked past all the different ministries.

“So, we just wanted to raise some visibility, have passers-by possibly start to question things, maybe start to look into things more and hopefully spread a good message,” Shona said.

Despite the demonstrators’ efforts, no representative from the Presidential Palace emerged to engage in dialogue with the peaceful assembly. The group expressed frustration with the perceived lack of acknowledgment from the Cyprus government regarding the grave situation in Gaza.

The demonstration, marked by its quiet resolve, aimed to highlight the devastating toll of the conflict, especially in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks, which reportedly claimed the lives of over 10,000 people. The demonstrators believe that Cyprus, as a nation, should reconsider its support for Israel, considering the severity of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

Demonstrators in front of the Presidential Palace “I feel like in Cyprus generally we are very complacent about lots of things that happen on our doorstep in our government,” Shona continued.

“People are happy to just go along in their little bubble as long as things aren’t directly affecting them, but I think with something like this like we’re literally watching a genocide unfold.

“And if there’s a little bit that we can do by going out and trying to spread awareness, that gives me some comfort.”

Another demonstrator who took part in the sit-in took aim at the close relations between Cyprus and Israel over the years and called on President Nikos Christodoulides to officially demand a ceasefire.

“I think the normalising of diplomatic and economic ties between Cyprus and Israel over the last few years sets a dangerous and unacceptable precedent that we must protest,” the demonstrator said.

“We refuse to be complicit in war crimes via our government. Christodoulides must denounce the actions of Israel and demand a ceasefire immediately.”

The banners displayed during the sit-in bore messages calling for an immediate end to hostilities, as well as diplomatic efforts to facilitate peace in the region.

The group emphasised the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis, with hopes that their peaceful demonstration would serve as a reminder of the shared responsibility to advocate for a ceasefire and engage in constructive dialogue.

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