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Pro-Palestine protests rumble on in Cyprus for seventh successive week

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Pro-Palestine protestors took to the streets in Cyprus for the seventh successive week on Sunday, marching through central Nicosia.

The protestors gathered at Eleftheria Square before making their way onto Makariou Street, chanting slogans in favour of the Palestinian cause.

Protestors also held placards calling for a “free Palestine”, describing the ongoing situation as a “genocide”, and even calling on Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides to resign over his perceived pro-Israel stance.

Before Sunday’s demonstration, the protest’s organisers said “our government here in Cyprus has enabled” the situation to unfold as it has, and said the Cypriot government has “refused to call for an immediate ceasefire [or] cut ties with this genocidal regime.”

The stated aims of the protest were to demand a ceasefire, to allow water, electricity, and fuel into Gaza, to “end … the occupation and neocolonialist Israeli plans of expansion” and for the Cypriot government to “cut all ties with Israel”.

Following the march, there was a candlelit vigil held to remember the thousands of Palestinians who have been killed since the conflict reignited in October.

The Cyprus Mail spoke to one Cypriot of Palestinian descent who said they wished to remain anonymous.

They said “the Cypriot people must stand in solidarity with their Palestinian neighbours. Both people share a common history from the time of the Roman Empire all the way through to the British mandates.”

“In recent history, both countries are under illegal occupation, and they must stand side by side in their quest for liberation. That is why we are here today, to show our solidarity with the people of Palestine and to let them know that they are not alone in this fight,” they added.

They also criticised the Cypriot government, saying they are being “hypocritical in their support for an illegal occupation in Palestine while at the same time begging the international community to end Turkey’s illegal occupation in Cyprus.”

They added, “the Israeli regime’s war crimes are not going unnoticed. The world may be silent, but here, we refuse to not at least try to make our voices heard.”

In addition to the protests, the group United for Palestine – Cyprus, which was created in reaction to the ongoing situation in Gaza in October, now holds weekly public meetings at which its members discuss “how we can support Palestinian liberation from Cyprus”.

With the violence looking set to continue in Gaza, it is expected that protests in Cyprus will continue to take place.

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