Photo: Ma'an News Agency
Photo: Ma’an News Agency

Ramallah, 21 Rabi’ul Awwal 1436/12 January 2015 (MINA)– Hundreds of Palestinians in Ramallah and Gaza City on Sunday participated in rallies in solidarity with France in light of the spate of attacks last week.

Participants in Ramallah gathered in al-Manara Square raising Palestinian flags and signs condemning all forms of terrorism.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, said at the rally that Palestinians reject terrorism, including that which is inflicted upon them by the Israeli occupation.

“Our message to France is that we defend our common values — the values of freedom, justice, and equality between peoples — and we are sure that terrorism will be defeated,” Abed Rabbo said, Ma’an News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

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“The way to do that is through democracy,” he added.

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said the attacks in France were an “against civilization,” adding that the rally in Ramallah emphasized Palestinian solidarity with the French people and government.

“This is a message to the world that the Palestinian people, who are the people who have suffered the most due to terrorism, reject terrorism in all its forms,” Zaki said.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, Palestinians lit candles in front of the French Cultural Center in Gaza City in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

AFP photographer Muhammad al-Baba, who participated in the event, told Ma’an that he came to stand for freedom of expression and against violence in the name of religion.

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“We as journalists and Muslims came here to tell everyone: Yes to freedom of expression without hurting the freedom of others; no to those who target others with weapons in the name of Islam,” al-Baba said.

Amjad al-Shawwa, the director of the Palestinian Network of NGOs, told Ma’an that the event was organized to send a message to the French people that Palestinians condemned terrorism “whatever its justifications were.”

“Despite the pain of our people and what they’ve been through, we feel for others, and especially those who suffer,” al-Shawwa said.

The rallies came the same day hundreds of thousands of people, including world leaders, gathered in Paris in a show of solidarity and defiance in the wake of the attacks that left 17 people dead last week. (T/P010/R03)

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Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)