Tensions rise as pro-Israel, pro-Palestine demonstrators clash in Prague

Prime Minister Petr Fiala attended a pro-Israel protest as hundreds of people from both sides met in the center of Prague.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.11.2023 10:23:00 (updated on 02.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Pro-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrators at two separate protests clashed Wednesday as tensions continue to flare in Czechia over the Israel-Palestine war.

Czech PM attends pro-Israel protest

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed his full support for Israel at a pro-Israel protest in Prague’s Old Town Square Wednesday afternoon attended by hundreds of Israel supporters. He also said that Czechia would “serve as the voice of Israel in Europe.”

The Czech prime minister said he struggled to find words to describe the sheer brutality of events that unfolded when the terrorist organization Hamas unexpectedly invaded Israel. Fiala also said that Czechia’s support for Israel was “unwavering,” and that the government would assist Israel financially and militarily.

The rally, organized by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Czechia, was marked by a display of solidarity, with the majority of participants waving Israeli flags and carrying banners featuring images of Israeli children and adults who fell victim to kidnappings by Hamas.

A Palestinian protest nearby

Over at Prague’s Wenceslas Square, around 200 pro-Palestinian protestors gathered Wednesday evening to express their solidarity with Palestine.

During the event, organized by the Not in Our Name! anti-war initiative, participants displayed Palestinian flags and banners to denounce the Israeli military intervention in the Gaza Strip. Several speakers addressed the rally, highlighting Israel's alleged infringement of human rights through the killing of civilians.

Notably, a group of around two dozen people brandishing Israeli flags attended the pro-Palestine protest. However, no serious clashes or confrontations occurred between them, the police report.

Towards the rally's end, many pro-Palestine protestors marched towards Old Town Square, where the pro-Israel demonstration was still ongoing. Verbal clashes and slight pushing ensued, but the police reported no serious physical misconduct.

Briefly, a banner demanding an end to the killing and occupation appeared on the tower of the Old Town Hall. Around three dozen officers surrounded each group, ensuring that conflicts were prevented. 

Events in the center of Prague on Wednesday evening epitomize the mass tension caused by the Israel-Palestine protest, which is causing divisions in Czechia as in other European countries.

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