Anti-government protesters gesture as they march during an anti-government rally held by Wefaq, Bahrain's main opposition party (Photo: Reuters)
Bahrain rejected requests by several groups to organise a pro-Gaza march on Sunday, after a protest ban announced last month, but instead allowed sit-ins in office buildings, the interior ministry said.
"Several political associations asked that they be allowed to organise a march to the UN offices in Manama this afternoon (Sunday) under the slogan 'Save Gaza'," a ministry statement received by AFP said.
Israel launched a ferocious air operation against the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in retaliation for rocket attacks by the militant groups. So far more than 50 Palestinians and three Israelis have died, with hundreds of people wounded.
Bahrain's interior ministry "told the organisers that their requests for a march have been rejected in order to preserve security in implementation of the decision to ban demonstrations and gatherings," it said.
Instead, it "suggested holding solidarity sit-ins in the headquarters" of these groups, it said.
Late last month, Bahrain banned all protests and gatherings to ensure "security is maintained," after clashes between Shiite-led demonstrators and security forces in the Sunni-ruled country.
The Gulf state has experienced unrest since March last year when the authorities crushed protests led by the Shiite Muslim majority demanding greater rights.