TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Protestors gathered outside Israel’s representative office in Taiwan on Tuesday (Nov. 21) to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, which is estimated to have killed over 13,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis since Oct. 7.
A group of about 40 Taiwanese and foreign citizens gathered outside the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei to deliver a set of demands which included an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The group also called for an end to Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza, an end to apartheid in the region, and an end to what they called Israel’s massacre of Palestinians.
Hazem Almassry, a Palestinian scholar from Gaza conducting research in Taiwan, addressed protesters and said the conflict is not a war, but a genocide. He noted the mass bombings in the Gaza Strip, and the death of United Nations staff, journalists, women, and children.
A United Nations press release on Nov. 17 stated that the majority of those killed in the conflict have been women and children, and that the death toll is likely “much higher” than official estimates. “The only way out is an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and an immediate exchange of prisoners,” Hazem said.
Founder of Islam Taiwan Abdullah Cheng (鄭平) also spoke at the protest and said the conflict is not a question of religion, but one of humanity. Cheng said Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Palestine have all suffered from the conflict.
A group who goes by @forpeacetw (可以自由巴) on social media organized the protest. Spokesperson Lau Pik-ka (劉璧嘉) said the group also wanted to increase Taiwanese people’s awareness of the conflict, as well as calls for a ceasefire.
A Palestinian man holds a child wounded in an Israeli strike at Nasser Hospital in the Gaza Strip on Monday. (Reuters, Ibraheem Abu Mustafa photo)
“We hope that Israel will hear Taiwan’s protests, and we hope that Taiwanese society will no longer be silent on issues of peace and justice in the international community,” a statement from the group read.
Taiwan’s government, along with the governments of many Western countries, has been clear in its support for Israel. However, in addition to Tuesday’s protest, about 250 people also gathered outside the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire and an end to U.S. support for Israel.
Lau said the group will continue to put pressure on the Israeli government until a ceasefire is achieved, and the group is organizing another march on Saturday at Taipei’s Daan Park. The focus of Saturday's protest will be to call on Taiwan's government to support a ceasefire.
Protestors call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war on Tuesday. (@forpeacetw photo)