ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Pakistani children on Thursday marched in the capital, Islamabad, to express solidarity with the children in Gaza and demand an end to ongoing Israeli hostilities in the occupied territory.
The development came as war raged on in Gaza on Thursday, with columns of black smoke rising above northern Gaza. The Israeli military said it had launched 300 air strikes in the past day, and sounded sirens warning of cross-border rocket launches by Palestinian armed groups.
Israel’s relentless strikes on the Gaza Strip, which began after 0ct 7 surprise attacks by Hamas, have so far killed around 14,000 Palestinians, including more than 5,000 children, according to the Gaza health ministry.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) religious party organized a children’s march in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad to express solidarity with the children in Gaza, who have been a target of Israeli strikes for more than a month.
“We have come here to raise voice for the children in Palestine and against the atrocities they are being subjected to,” Hania, a 9th grader, told Arab News.
“We will raise our voice against it and stand by with them (Palestinians) till the end.”
The Pakistani children, who attended the demonstration in thousands, marched on the main avenue in the capital before gathering outside the Faisal Mosque to record their protest against the Israeli atrocities.
“We have gathered here to raise voice for our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Imaan, a 14-year-student. “God willing, the Palestinians will get their rights.”
The protesters said Israel was committing “war crimes” in Gaza by targeting children in schools and hospitals.
“Israel’s atrocities have crossed the limit. Pakistan, along with other Muslim countries, feels the pain and suffering of the Muslims of Palestine,” said Saeedullah Khan, principal of the Prince Oriental School and College.
“We demand the United Nations, European Union, Pakistan and all OIC member countries that there is time now, this genocide of Palestinian children be immediately stopped.”