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Thousands march in Istanbul in support of Palestinians

Muslim people gather in Diyarbakir on October 7, 2023 during a rally in support for a large-scale surprise attack launched by Palestinian militant group Hamas against Israel   -  
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ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP or licensors


Thousands of Turks in Istanbul are participating in a march called "March for Fatah" to support the Palestinians. 

A pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul, though officially Turkey’s remaining neutral, stops short of condemning Hamas.

"The Palestinian people are only defending their homeland, this has nothing to do with terrorism," Sahin Ocal, 54, an activist with one of the associations organizing the march, tells AFP.

 "Inshallah, we believe that this will also be a victory day for Muslims," 39-year-old housewife Fatma Ipek adds to him as she holds an "anti-Zionist" banner.

It was a response echoed in Sanaa in Yemen, where Houthi supporters carrying Palestinian flags, celebrated the attacks on Israel, which Hamas has dubbed al-aqsa storm.

In Beirut, the Palestinian flags were in the hands of Hezbollah supporters who declared October the 7th a victory day against Israel.

While in Iran, which has openly supported Hamas, an adviser to the supreme leader declared “we stand with the Palestinian leaders until Palestine and Jerusalem are liberated.”

Hamas labelled its attack "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" and called on "resistance fighters in the West Bank" as well as in "Arab and Islamic nations" to join the battle.

Its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, claimed to have fired more than 5,000 rockets, while Hecht said Israel had counted more than 3,000 incoming rockets.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh claimed the group was on the "verge of a great victory".

"The cycle of intifadas (uprisings) and revolutions in the battle to liberate our land and our prisoners languishing in occupation prisons must be completed," he said.