World Bulletin / News Desk
NIDA, an Islamic political party based in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, is seeking to pair the city with Gaza in a demonstration of solidarity and support.
Speaking to OnIslam, one of two of NIDA's Rotterdam city council members Nourdin El Ouali said “we really want to reach out to the people in Gaza and support the rebuilding of their city,” shortly after the party organized a pro-Palestine protest in the city, attracting up to 10,000 people - both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“During the second world war, the city of Rotterdam was occupied by German forces and bombarded repeatedly until it was fully destroyed. From a historical perspective, we can relate to what the people in Gaza are going through,” El Ouali said.
El Ouali, who was part of the aid flotilla that attempted to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza in 2011, told OnIslam, “NIDA is right now working on a proposal to accept Gaza as a sister-city of Rotterdam, like many other cities are. This would mean we commit ourselves to supporting the rebuild of Gaza for the upcoming years.”
Israel's latest 51-day offensive on the Gaza Strip left almost 2,200 Gazans dead and 11,000 others injured – many critically – while partially or completely destroying thousands of buildings across the coastal enclave.
The Israeli offensive - initially launched with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from Gaza. - finally ended with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire that came into effect on Tuesday.
Over the course of Israel's offensive, at least 70 Israelis – 65 soldiers and five civilians – were killed, according to Israeli figures. This is the highest military death toll for Israel since the 2006 war in Lebanon, in which 119 Israeli soldiers were killed.