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Demonstrators in Austria protest Israel's planned attack against Rafah

Israel's planned attack against Rafah was protested Saturday in a march in Vienna.

Demonstrators gathered at Human Rights Square where they carried Palestinian flags and banners that read: "Stop the genocide in Gaza", "Hands off Rafah" and "Immediate cease-fire".

Austrian activist Irina Vana told Anadolu that Israeli officials have openly expressed their intention to attack Gaza.

"The purpose of these attacks clearly indicates ethnic cleansing, genocide and a new Nakba,” or Catastrophe, she said, referring to the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948 to make way for the state of Israel.

"This is what is intended and desired. Especially the images coming from Rafah right now clearly reveal what the Israeli government's target is," she said.

Felix, speaking on behalf of the communist formation, Der Funke, at the demonstration, drew attention to the bombing of Rafah during the protest.

"You do not need to be Arab, Palestinian, or communist to see this genocide," said Felix.

Referring to pressure exerted by the Austrian government against those who organize demonstrations for Palestine, he said legal action has been taken against 400 protesters, some demonstrations have been banned and 10 detained.

Israel has announced its intention to attack densely populated Rafah, where more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians have already relocated after being forcibly evacuated from the north and directed south, with Tel Aviv claiming it is a "safe zone."

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 Hamas attack. The ensuing Israeli attack has killed at least 28,858, injured more than 68,677 others, and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

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