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Kuwaiti protesters burn Israeli flag, reject normalisation deals

Hundreds of Kuwaitis demonstrated on Wednesday in support of Palestinians and burned an Israeli flag to protest at the bombardment of Gaza after authorities allowed the rally to proceed despite coronavirus restrictions.

Protesters, who were only granted access to a main square on foot to limit numbers, chanted “Death to Israel” and held banners rejecting normalisation accords.

“We send a message to our friends in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries that any normalisation with the Zionists will not help. It helps the killer against the Palestinian people,” said 43-year-old Osama al-Zaid, a Kuwaiti political activist.

Israeli aerial bombardments of Gaza have killed 227 people in the 10-day violence.

Hamas began firing rockets on May 10 in retaliation after Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians in Jerusalem and following Israeli police’s torture on worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Palestine and Al-Aqsa are in our hearts. We absolutely refuse it (normalisation),” said 30-year-old Kuwaiti employee Zahraa Habeeb.

Other protesters, who included dozens of expatriates, chanted slogans calling for rocket attacks on Tel Aviv.

Kuwait, which launched a relief campaign for Palestinians this week, prevented a similar rally, citing COVID-19 concerns.

Gulf states have condemned what they called flagrant Israeli violations of Palestinian rights and called for a halt to hostilities.

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