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Hundreds demonstrate in Helsinki in support of both Palestinians and Israel

Several demonstrations took place on Sunday in the Finnish capital, as in many other cities around the world.

Suomi-Syyria Ystävyysseura järjesti Solidaarisuutta palestiinalaisille -tapahtuman Helsingin Tuomiokirkon edessä 16. toukokuuta 2021.
Pro-Palestine demonstrators marched along central Helsinki's Aleksanterinkatu on 16 May. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Demonstrations linked to the upsurge in Israeli-Palestinian violence took place on Sunday in Helsinki, as in many other cities around the world.

A pro-Israel demonstration began at Paasikivenaukio (Paasikivi Square) at 4 pm, and was scheduled to last about an hour. According to the Helsinki police, there were 50-100 people present.

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Pro Israel -mielenilmaus Paasikivenaukiolla.
Pro-Israel demonstrators in Helsinki on Sunday. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

The Solidarity March on behalf of Palestine also began at 4 pm in front of Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral and proceeded to the Israeli Embassy. According to police estimates, about 400 people took part in the procession.

In a tweet, police warned of temporary traffic disruptions in central Helsinki, noting that the procession was headed from Senate Square to Simonkatu by way of Aleksanterinkatu and Mannerheimintie.

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Suomi-Syyria Ystävyysseura järjesti Solidaarisuutta palestiinalaisille -tapahtuman Helsingin Tuomiokirkon edessä 16. toukokuuta 2021.
According to police, hundreds of protesters gathered at Senate Square. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Police instructed organizers to observe social distancing.

The Finnish-Syria Friendship Society also demonstrated on behalf of the Palestinians in the centre of Helsinki on Sunday afternoon. According to police, some 150 people took part in the protest. One person was detained at the beginning of the protest, but otherwise the event proceeded smoothly with social distancing maintained, police told the news agency STT.

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