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COP28 Witnesses Rare Protest Demanding Gaza Ceasefire Amid Israeli Military Actions

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Israel Ojoko
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COP28 Witnesses Rare Protest Demanding Gaza Ceasefire Amid Israeli Military Actions

The COP28 climate conference in Dubai witnessed a strictly controlled demonstration advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza, in response to the recent Israeli military actions, including the killing of Hamas battalion commander Haitham Khuwajari.

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The demonstration, comprising over a hundred protesters, was an unprecedented event in a region where freedom of expression often faces limitations. The protesters demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and the creation of a climate decolonisation framework.

Protesting Amid Tensions

These protests occurred amid heightened tensions due to the escalated violence in Gaza, including an unfortunate incident where two ambulance workers and a wounded person they were carrying were hit by an Israeli army bombing in the Faluja area north of Gaza.

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The demonstration, occurring in Dubai Expo City, was an unusual sight in the United Arab Emirates, a country known for its stringent regulations on public expressions of dissent.

The United Nations imposed strict restrictions on the demonstration, prohibiting Palestinian flags and certain slogans. However, it allowed peaceful protests under the agreement with the UAE for COP28. This agreement was a significant step towards ensuring free expression and the safety of protesters.

Interfaith Vigil and International Reactions

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Meanwhile, in London, an interfaith vigil was held to remember the victims of the conflict and advocate for peace, with religious leaders from different faiths appearing together.

In a separate development, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, claimed to have targeted Israeli ships off the Yemeni coast in retaliation to the Gaza conflict. The White House acknowledged Israel's efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, amid the escalating conflict.

Security Measures and ICC Involvement

In Copenhagen, the army will be deployed to assist the police in securing Jewish and Israeli sites due to the prevailing situation in Israel and Gaza. This support, announced by the Danish Defense Minister, will start from December 6 for an indefinite period.

Simultaneously, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has expressed commitment, presumably related to the situation in Israel and Gaza, though the details remain undisclosed.

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