In the midst of a growing international outcry over the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, a pro-Palestine demonstration took place in Groningen on Sunday afternoon. More than a hundred people marched through the city’s main street, Herestraat, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans calling for an end to the violence and a lifting of the Israeli blockade.
The demonstration, which was organized by a local group called Groningen voor Palestina, came just days before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to hold public hearings in the Hague on a case brought by South Africa against Israel alleging that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
“We are here today to show our solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand an end to the Israeli occupation and the siege of Gaza,” one of the organizers of the demonstration was quoted by OOG TV as saying. “We believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people, and we call on the ICJ to take action to stop this.”
The demonstration was peaceful and there were no reported incidents. The protesters marched past the synagogue on Zuiderdiep before dispersing around 4 p.m. The demonstration was one of many that have been held in the Netherlands and around the world in recent weeks to call for an end to the conflict in Gaza.
The ICJ’s hearings on South Africa’s case against Israel are scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week. The court is expected to hear arguments from both sides before deciding whether to issue provisional measures to prevent further harm to the Palestinian people.
The case is the first time that Israel has been formally accused of genocide at the ICJ. It is a significant development in the international legal community’s efforts to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the occupied Palestinian territories.