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Tens of Thousands in Italy Call for Palestinian State

ROME (AFP) — Tens of thousands of people marched in Rome on Saturday to call for the creation of a Palestinian state and express solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators, most of them young people, marched through the Italian capital on Saturday in a noisy, peaceful show of support for Palestinians in their battle with Israel.

The protest — organized by the Democratic Left, the Green party and anti-globalization groups — brought traffic in central Rome to a standstill, as demonstrators marched in intermittent rain.

Organizers said some 50,000 people participated in the three-kilometer march along the Italian capital's main thoroughfares.

The demonstration ended at the Piazza Navona, where speakers called for peace in the Middle East and an end to the bloodshed, a day after the deadliest day in the 17-month conflict, which left more than 50 Palestinians dead.

Many protesters — among them women wearing Islamic headscarves — said they believed Israelis and Palestinians could live together in peace.

Demonstrators said they supported both the security of the state of Israel, and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Police were out in force to maintain order — ahead of a Lazio-AS Roma football match set for today — but no incidents were reported.



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