Thousands protest in London over Israel-Gaza violence

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Thousands of people have marched through central London in support of the Palestinians amid ongoing fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza.

The organisers of the protest called on the UK government to stop allowing what they described as “Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people”.

Demonstrators marched to the Israeli embassy chanting “free Palestine”.

It comes after the worst week of violence in Gaza and Israel since 2014.

At least 139 people have been killed in Gaza and nine in Israel since the fighting began on Monday.

Israel says dozens of militants are among the dead in Gaza, while Palestinian health officials say nearly half are women and children.

It came after weeks of spiralling Israeli-Palestinian tension in occupied East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas – the militant Islamist group which rules Gaza – began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

On Saturday, an Israeli air strike on a refugee camp in Gaza killed 10 people, while a Palestinian rocket killed a man in Israel.

A separate Israeli strike destroyed a high-rise building housing media organisations, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera, plus a number of offices and apartments. The Israeli military said the building housed military assets belonging to Hamas.

The demonstration in London has been organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop The War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action.

“It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.”

They said the bombardment of Gaza “which is killing civilians including children is a war crime”, adding: “The UK government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support.”


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