Hundreds of Bosnians gathered in Sarajevo following news of the Gaza hospital bombing to voice their support and sympathy for Palestinians in Gaza as some politicians called for the sending of ‘symbolic’ aid.
Following accusations that Israel shelled a hospital in Gaza Strip, which left 500 civilians dead – which Israel has denied responsibility for – politiicians and people in Bosnia have voiced strong sympathy for the Palestinians.
Nihad Uk, the outgoing Prime Minister of Sarajevo Canton, one of ten in Bosnia’s Federation entity, wrote to the Palestinian ambassador to Bosnia, Rezeq Namoor, offering “symbolic aid.”
“As someone who, as a child, survived the [1992-5 Serb] siege of Sarajevo and now serves as the Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, I am deeply emotionally moved by the loss of innocent civilian lives in Gaza,” Uk wrote, recalling that Sarajevo, which was under siege by Bosnian Serb forces for more than three years, cannot “turn a blind eye to the suffering”.
“As a gesture of sympathy, responsibility, and human solidarity, I wish to offer symbolic support from the Sarajevo Canton to aid the people of Palestine,” Uk added. The amount or form of aid was not specified.
Bosnians also voiced their support on the streets by gathering in the Old Town in the capital Sarajevo late on Tuesday evening. Chanting support for the Palestinian people, hundreds protested the killings of civilians.
Toni Vukadin, member of the Sarajevo City Council, announced that he plans to push a “declaration on the Israel-Palestine conflict” at the next council meeting.
“I will propose adoption of a declaration in which we will request the UN to immediately initiate proceedings for war criminals to be held accountable for their atrocities,” Vukadin wrote on his official Facebook profile.
“My plan is to send the text of the declaration to the most influential global media, as I believe that Sarajevo has moral credibility within the ‘sane’ part of the international community,” Vukadin added.
The Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday condemned the attack on civilians.
“The injustice suffered by the Palestinian people for decades cannot justify terrorism, just as attacks on Israeli civilians cannot justify the killing and persecution of Palestinian civilians,” said the Islamic Community.
It said a just and lasting peace, as well as the abandonment of violence, are the only ways to achieve a solution in the Holy Land.
“The Islamic Community once again appeals to all those in positions of power to stop the spiral of violence and turn towards achieving a peaceful solution,” the statement added.
The Muslim charitable society “Merhamet” from Bosnia launched a humanitarian campaign “Aid for the People of Gaza”, inviting citizens to donate via phone calls.
By contrast, reactions from Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, were lacking.
Another “Free Palestine” gathering has been announced for Sunday, October 22, in Sarajevo. This will be the second organised gathering in the capital, following a protest held on October 12.
Source : Balkan Insight