Thousands rally in London to condemn Israeli attack on Gaza

Amer Sultan in London, Saturday 19 Jul 2014

Protest held in central London to call for an end to Israeli violence against the Gaza Strip

Pro-Palestine demonstrations in London (Photo: Amer Sultan)

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Saturday to call for an end to the Israeli war on Gaza.

The pro-Palestine demonstrators assembled in front of Downing Street, the headquarters of the UK government, at midday.

They carried placards bearing the slogans "Stop Israel's war crimes" “End the occupation” and "Justice and freedom for Palestine”.

A number of members of the UK parliament participated in the protest.

Speaking to the protesters, Labour MP Diane Abbott called for an end to the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the Palestinian territories.

"I am here to show solidarity with the people in Gaza. We call for an end to the occupation and justice for Palestinians,” she said.

After assembling, the protesters marched to the nearby Israeli embassy where hundreds of British police were deployed.

Groups demonstrating included the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Palestinian Return Centre, the Stop the War Coalition, the Muslim Association of Britain, the British Muslim Initiative, the Palestinian Forum in Britain, the Islamic Forum in Europe, and the Israeli Coalition against House Demolitions (UK).

More than 12,000 people demonstrated outside the embassy last week in a similar rally.

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the US President Barack Obama have meanwhile spoken on the phone to discuss the worsening situation in Gaza.

"Both leaders reiterated their support for Israel's right to take proportionate action to defend itself from the barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza,” Downing Street said in a Saturday statement.

Cameron had earlier reiterated the UK’s strong support for Israel.

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