“Stop the Aggression, Lift the Siege” Protest in Front of ESCWA Building in Beirut

“Stop the Aggression, Lift the Siege” Protest in Front of ESCWA Building in Beirut


In solidarity with the women and children of Palestine and under the slogan “Stop the Aggression, Lift the Siege,” a group of associations, networks, and Arab coalitions opposing violence against women called for a unified Arab stand in more than eight Arab countries on 29 November 2023 in front of UN buildings. They demanded that the United Nations take responsibility and work to stop the genocide and war crimes committed by the Zionist entity against civilians in the resilient Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Ms. Zoya Rouhana, Director of the KAFA organisation, delivered the Arab movement’s address. They called on the United Nations and relevant parties to pressure for an immediate halt to the aggression and the war of extermination on the Gaza Strip, ensuring the protection of all civilians, with special protection for women and children based on international humanitarian law, and holding the occupation accountable for its crimes, especially the use of internationally banned weapons.

Furthermore, they demanded the lifting of collective punishments and the siege on Palestinians in Gaza, ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid and the fuel necessary to operate service and humanitarian facilities, restoring electricity and water, and allowing the evacuation of the wounded.

UN institutions must take responsibility for providing protection and relief to Gaza’s residents. Ms. Silvana Lakkis, representing local associations organising the protest, emphasised in her speech: “On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we join our voices with women’s coalitions and networks in the Arab region. We call on the international civil society, which has expressed support for the Palestinian people, to translate this support into action for the reconstruction of Gaza’s health, educational, and cultural facilities. This requires a plan for rebuilding what the aggression has destroyed and an early recovery plan to ensure that displaced people return to their homes and urban environments. We stress the rights of those injured and disabled by the aggression and call for providing support for them to live with dignity and independence, obliging the criminal entity to provide fair compensation so they can continue their lives.”

Ms. Bouthaina Saad of Association Najdeh also spoke, demanding that the humanitarian truce in Gaza be turned into a permanent ceasefire and that the occupation forces withdraw from Gaza and all the occupied Palestinian territories of 1967. She also called for the prosecution of those responsible for the genocide and their accomplices.

The protest concluded with a speech by a Lebanese girl from the Democratic Women’s Gathering, addressing the children of Palestine. She said: “I speak to you today with a heart heavy with the suffering and injustice faced by the innocent children of Gaza who have been deprived of their basic rights to safety, education, and a peaceful childhood.” She added, “Dear children of Gaza, I want you to know that you are not alone. Your resilience in the face of occupation is an inspiration to us all.”

Additionally, a parallel virtual protest was organised by the Noon Solidarity Feminist Group via Zoom. Women and mothers from rural and peripheral areas of Lebanon were invited to raise their voices, during which the unified statement was read out.