Skip to main content

Israel-Palestine war: Palestinian solidarity protests sweep across Middle East

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Iran and other Arab and Muslim countries
Demonstrators in the Syrian capital Damascus protest in solidarity with Palestinians on 13 October 2023 (AFP)

Demonstrations are taking place across the Arab and Muslim world in solidarity with Palestinians facing Israeli air strikes in the besieged Gaza Strip

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in LebanonEgypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya and other countries across the Middle East.

The protests come after Palestinians called for a global show of support on Friday, as Israel ordered the forced transfer of Palestinians in north Gaza to the south, a demand repeated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Over 1,500 people have been killed in Gaza, which is subject to an air, land and sea blockade. More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed in the war that began on Saturday.

In Jordan, which has long had a peace treaty with neighbouring Israel, more than 10,000 people gathered in central Amman, near the Grand Husseini Mosque.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


Demonstrators have marched to Jordan's border with Palestine, where Jordanian police fired teargas at them. Jordanians standing in solidarity with the Palestinians have accused the police of "treason" and of "shameful" behaviour.

Worshippers at Egypt's Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo took part in protests on Friday after the noon prayers and chanted for Palestinians, according to footage shared online verified as accurate by Middle East Eye. 

The protesters chanted for a “free Palestine” and echoed sentiments shared by the Al-Azhar institution earlier this week, calling on Palestinians to “die on your lands as knights, heroes and martyrs, rather than leave your land for colonisers”.

A prayer was also said as part of the Friday sermon at Mecca's Grand Mosque for the "liberation of al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem. 

In Lebanon, protests took place in different areas of the south, in downtown Beirut and in its southern suburbs, where thousands took part in a rally held by Hezbollah.

Near the southern coastal city of Sour, hundreds of Palestinian refugees held protests in the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashidieh.

Follow Middle East Eye's live coverage for the latest on the Israel-Palestine war

Meanwhile, thousands took to the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities on Friday, with some waving the flags of Iran, Palestine and Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, according to AFP.

Iran supports Hamas financially and militarily, and referred to the Palestinian group's Saturday attack on Israel as a "success", while insisting it had nothing to do with it.

"No to the occupation! No to America," chanted demonstrators gathered in central Baghdad, after Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr called for a protest "in support of Gaza" and against Israel.

"This rally is aimed at condemning what is happening in occupied Palestine, the bloodletting and the violation of rights," said Abu Kayan, one of the organisers of the protest.

In Syria, smaller demonstrations have taken place in the capital, Damascus, and in Idlib province. In Idlib, protesters also stood in solidarity with Palestinians against Hezbollah, shouting "Damn your soul, Hassan Nasrallah," referring to the Lebanese group's leader.

Protests have also taken place in Gulf states and across Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as in South America, the United States, Britain and other parts of Europe.

"Palestine, you are not alone, we are with you," one speaker told a crowd gathered in the Afghan capital, Kabul. "We are poor, but we will do whatever we can. We can't do much today but use our feet and stand in your support."

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.