Activists in Bangladesh march through universities to demand end to Israel-Hamas war

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Thousands of activists in Bangladesh backed by the ruling party's student wing marched through universities around the country Monday to demand an end to the Israel-Hamas war and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League marched through the campus of the prestigious Dhaka University chanting anti-Israel slogans, carrying Bangladeshi and Palestinian flags and spreading banners saying “Free Palestine, Stop Genocide." Many other students also joined the rally, organizers said.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of nearly 170 million people, maintains no diplomatic relations with Israel and has called for an independent Palestinian state. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of the ruling Awami League, has slammed Israel over what she has alleged is genocide committed by its government.

The student group said it organized the demonstrations in solidarity with protests in the United States and because of growing rage against the Israeli military action in Gaza. It called for action “against atrocities, massacres and ongoing human rights violations."

Student leaders cited Israel over what they described as brutal and indiscriminate attacks that killed women and children and damaged hospitals. Meanwhile the children of Gaza aren't getting enough food and water, said Tanbir Hasan Shaikat, an organizer.

“We have never seen attacks on hospitals in any war, but we have seen that in Gaza,” he said.

Other protesters said they joined the demonstrations to send a message to the world that they were against any oppression.