Protesters in US and Europe call for ceasefire to stop civilian casualties

Thousands of protesters have gathered in the US capital, Washington, to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as civilian casualties increase under Israeli bombardment.

They flocked to Freedom Plaza near the White House on Saturday afternoon in response to calls from pro-Arab groups.

Participants carried placards which read "Stop Genocide". They condemned Israeli military bombardments and the US administration under President Joe Biden, which is providing military support for Israel.

One protester said that she joined the rally because she does not want taxpayers' money to be used to murder innocent children.

She added that it is not just Arab Americans who are angry, but many young people are angry.

Another protester said that Biden should take action to improve the situation and bring forth a ceasefire.

The Biden administration is calling for a humanitarian pause, not a ceasefire.

A recent poll released by Quinnipiac University in the United States on Thursday says that half of voters approve of the way Israel is responding to the October 7 Hamas attack.

But only 32 percent of voters 18-34 years of age approve.

As civilian casualties increase in Gaza, the US government faces growing criticism, mainly from young people, for military support to Israel.
The situation is not helping Biden, who is seeking to be reelected next fall.

On Saturday, calls for protest were made in around 30 cities in Canada, including the largest city, Toronto.

Demonstrators also gathered in cities around Europe.

In Paris, France, police say that about 19,000 gathered, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

In Berlin, Germany, many people walked waving Palestinian flags, calling for a ceasefire.

In Britain, protests were held in about 60 places, including London.

Organizers said that about 50,000 people joined the rally in London.