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Palestine conference in Berlin stopped by the police

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Doctor Salman Abu Sitta, a British-Palestinian plastic surgeon who has worked as a volunteer in Gaza, was refused entry to Germany to attend a conference on Palestine. When he spoke on video link, the police stopped the conference. Photo: Hussein Malla / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 13.04.2024 08:13:09

Policy: The conference, which was backed by pro-Palestinian groups, including the DIEM25 party of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, aimed to highlight what they call Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The police intervened when a speaker who was refused entry to Germany started his speech via video link. The power was cut, and the last two days of the conference were cancelled.

The speaker, British-Palestinian surgeon Salman Abu Sitta, wrote an essay in January expressing his understanding of the Hamas attack on Israel last October. He was stopped at passport control in Berlin on Friday.

The organizers of the conference call the police intervention intolerable in a democratic society and say they were treated like criminals.

Germany’s strong support for Israel and fear of anti-Semitism has its background in the Holocaust, the German genocide of the Jews during the Second World War.

But in Germany, as in other countries, there is growing opposition to the war in Gaza, and activists complain that protests and demonstrations are regularly interrupted by the police, who are on guard against anything that could be interpreted as anti-Semitism.

(© NTB)

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