Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators march in London as war on Gaza enters third week

AP , Saturday 21 Oct 2023

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched in London and other cities on Saturday to demand Israel stop its bombardment of Gaza, as the war on Gaza entered its third week and its ripples spread around the globe.

Palestine protests - London
People take part in a March For Palestine , in London on October 21, 2023, to demand an end to the war on Gaza . AFP

 

On the day a trickle of aid entered Gaza, where more than 1 million people have had to leave their homes because of the conflict, protesters gathered in the rain at Marble Arch near London’s Hyde Park before marching to the government district, Whitehall.

Waving Palestinian flags, participants called for an end to the Israeli siege and relentless bombardment of Gaza that has killed thousands.

Similarly, in Australia, thousands marched through central Sydney on Saturday, shouting “Shame, shame Israel” and “Palestine will never die.”

The Gaza health ministry says more than 4,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have been killed in the territory since the latest war began.

A small measure of relief came when 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were allowed to enter Gaza across the southern Rafah border crossing with Egypt after Israel repeatedly bombed the Palestinian side of the border.

The war on Gaza sparked protests across the Arab world and beyond on Friday, including in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli army has since dispersed Palestinian protests by firing tear gas and live rounds on participants.

Crowds gathered in Israel’s northern neighbor Lebanon; in Iraq at the country’s border crossing with Jordan; in Jordan itself; in cities and towns across Egypt; in Turkey’s capital Ankara and its most populous city of Istanbul; and in Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco and South Africa.

In New York, hundreds of protesters from Muslim, Jewish and other groups marched to U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s Manhattan office, many shouting “cease fire now.” Police later arrested dozens of protesters who blocked Third Avenue outside Gillibrand’s office by sitting in the road.

Brooklyn-based Rabbi Miriam Grossman told the crowd she knows many people grieving the loss of family members killed in the Hamas attack or have friends and family taken hostage. Yet Grossman said she also knows many Palestinians “living in terror” as they lose contact with loved ones in Gaza.

In Mexico City, dozens gathered outside the Israeli Embassy on Friday evening, lighting candles and chanting “Free Palestine.”

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire, with the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations characterizing it as catastrophic. The situation remains critical, with ongoing Israeli attacks, and the uncertainty surrounding the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online

 

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