Israel-Hamas war: Protesters march around the world to call for ceasefire

Marches are planned across the country and world today, calling for a ceasefire and ending what they’re calling genocide in Gaza stemming from the Israel-Hamas war. 

Advocacy groups such as Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and Shut it Down 4 Palestine Coalition have both proposed the global day of action. 

"End the genocide! Hands off Rafah!" said Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, said in a news release. 

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The Israel-Hamas war has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and sparked global concern over the situation in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost town along the border with Egypt, where 1.4 million Palestinians have sought safety from Israel’s daily bombardments.

Al-Awda, claims the Israeli government is planning to launch a full scale invasion of Rafah on March 9.


Pro-Palestinian activists protest for a cease-fire in Gaza, on February 19, 2024 in the Astoria neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Demonstrators have called for a cease-fire in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. (P

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed after almost five months of Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry, which does not distinguish in its count between fighters and noncombatants. Israel says it has killed 10,000 militants, without providing evidence.

What is the current situation in the Gaza Strip?

Back in October, Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, launched an attack inside Israel, killing hundreds and taking others hostages and transporting them back to Gaza Strip. 

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Negotiations are currently underway in Qatar to bring about a deal between Hamas and Israel that would lead to a cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages. President Joe Biden said such a deal was at hand but officials from Israel and Hamas were skeptical of his optimism.

Negotiators from the U.S., Egypt and Qatar are working on a framework deal under which Hamas would free some of the dozens of hostages it holds in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a six-week halt in fighting. During the temporary pause, negotiations would continue over the release of the remaining hostages.

What is Hamas?

The group was founded in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian refugee living in Gaza, during the first intifada, or uprising, which was marked by widespread protests against Israel’s occupation.

Hamas is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, and a recognition of the group’s roots and early ties to one of the Sunni world’s most prominent groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in the 1920s.

The group has vowed to annihilate Israel and has been responsible for many suicide bombings and other deadly attacks on civilians and Israeli soldiers.

The U.S. State Department designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1997. The European Union and other Western countries also consider it a terrorist organization.

Hamas won 2006 parliamentary elections and in 2007 violently seized control of the Gaza Strip from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. 

Israel responded to the Hamas takeover with a blockade on Gaza, restricting movement of people and goods in and out of the territory in a step it says is needed to keep the group from developing weapons. The blockade has ravaged Gaza’s economy, and Palestinians accuse Israel of collective punishment.

The start of the Israel-Hamas war

Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 men, women and children hostage. After a round of exchanges for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in November, around 130 remain captive, a fourth of them believed to be dead.

Already, the war has driven around 80% of the Palestinians in Gaza from their homes and has left a quarter of the population starving, according to U.N. officials.

Israel says it has killed over 10,000 Palestinian militants but has provided no evidence for its count. The military says it tries to avoid harming civilians and blames the high death toll on Hamas because the militant group fights in dense residential neighborhoods. The military says 236 of its soldiers have been killed since the start of the ground offensive in late October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.