Over 25,000 individuals gathered in Madrid, echoing the sentiments of demonstrators across a hundred Spanish cities, demanding decisive action against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The large-scale protests, held on Saturday, January 20, have seen widespread calls for Spain to put an end to the arms trade with Israel and break diplomatic ties.

The Madrid rally, under the banner ‘Let’s stop the genocide in Palestine!’, was a culmination of efforts by the Solidarity Network against the Occupation of Palestine (RESCOP).

Protesters passionately advocated for an end to arms sales and a severance of relations with Israel. These demonstrations coincide with reports that Israel has been relentlessly bombing the Gaza Strip since October 7, amidst a blockade lasting over 16 years.

The devastating impact of these attacks has been profound, with a reported 30,000 fatalities, including over 10,000 children.

Notably, the Madrid march saw the participation of prominent political figures. Ione Belarra, the general secretary of Podemos, criticised the Spanish government’s proximity to conflict zones, particularly its involvement in a potential war against Yemen.

‘Never before,’ Belarra remarked, ‘has there been such a deep chasm between what the people of our country want and what the Government is doing.’ He went on to accuse Spain of engaging in a war against Yemen to ‘side with the genocidal state of Israel.’

Manuela Bergerot from Mas Madrid, Tesh Sidi from Sumar, and Enrique Santiago, a deputy of the Cortes Generales of Spain, were among the other vital attendees.

Sumar’s deputy and IU spokesperson in Congress, Enrique Santiago, echoed Podemos’ sentiments, urging the Spanish government to support South Africa’s complaint against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

He warned against errors that could exacerbate the Middle Eastern conflict, such as participating in the military operation in the Red Sea.

These statements reflect a growing demand for concrete actions over mere rhetoric in international relations, particularly concerning the ongoing crisis in Gaza.