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15th May 2021

Thousands join march in London to protest Gaza violence

George McKay

Thousands of people have gathered in central London in solidarity with Palestinians amid ongoing violence in the Middle East

The protest marched through Hyde Park chanting ‘free, free Palestine’ and waving Palestinian flags as they headed to the Israeli embassy based in Kensington, Sky News reports.

It is reportedly estimated by organisers that 100,000 people joined the crowds outside the embassy.

Among those in the protest was Labour MP Diane Abbott, who told the crowd to “remember we are part of an international movement.”

She said: “This is a worldwide movement for justice. Palestinian people are having their land seized… and they are now being killed in their homes.

“All of this is illegal.”

Jeremy Corbyn, also in attendance at the march, addressed the crowd, saying: “It is our global voices that will give succour, comfort and support in those settlements alongside Gaza and all over the West Bank, East Jerusalem who are suffering at this time.”

This protest comes amid increasing violence in Israel and Palestine, which has resulted in at least 126 deaths in Gaza, among them 31 children and 20 women. In Israel, seven people have been killed, among them a six-year-old boy.

Earlier today, Israeli airstrikes caused a building housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera to collapse.

According to Reuters, the building’s owner is said to have received warning by Israeli forces prior to the attack, which allowed those inside to be evacuated in time.

The building also contained other offices and several residential apartments.

At today’s demonstration, Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zumlot, told the crowd: “This time is different. This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression.

“Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity.”

The UN Human Rights Commissioner has warned those on both sides that attacks on densely populated civilian areas could amount to war crimes.

“Over the past 10 days, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel has deteriorated at an alarming rate,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement given from Geneva.

“The situation in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, triggered by threats of forced evictions of Palestinian families; the heavy presence of Israeli Security Forces and violence around the al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan; the severe escalation of attacks from and on Gaza; and the shocking incitement to racial hatred and violence in Israel have all led to vicious attacks and mounting casualties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel,” she added.