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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

Local News

Israel-Hamas war: Around 100,000 people descend on central London for pro-Palestine march | UK News

today21/10/2023

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Thousands of people have joined a pro-Palestine march in central London calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

The Metropolitan Police said an estimated 100,000 demonstrators assembled on Saturday afternoon for the protest, with the procession travelling from Marble Arch to Whitehall and Parliament Square.

People held placards aloft saying “Free Palestine” while others unfurled a giant Palestinian flag and let off green smoke flares.

The gathering took place as the Rafah border crossing was opened on Saturday – allowing humanitarian aid to pass from Egypt into Gaza.

The aid shipments have been described as a “lifeline” by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly – although UN officials say they are insufficient to deal with the “catastrophe” unfolding in Gaza.

Protesters in the capital demanded an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, in the wake of the surprise terror attack by Hamas on 7 October.

Follow live: First aid trucks enter Gaza as border crossing with Egypt opens

One woman, who asked not to be named, told Reuters: “As a Palestinian who’d like to return home one day, as a
Palestinian who has brothers and sisters in Gaza, and family, I wish we can do more but protest is what we can do at the
minute.”

People were also heard chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – despite controversy over the meaning of the slogan.

Protesters marched from Marble Arch to Whitehall to show solidarity to Palestine
Image:
Protesters marched from Marble Arch to Whitehall to show solidarity to Palestine

People let off green smoke flares during the pro-Palestine march
Image:
People let off green smoke flares during the pro-Palestine march

The slogan was branded antisemitic by Home Secretary Suella Braverman – who claimed it is “widely understood” to call for the destruction of Israel.

Read more:
What Hamas’s release of hostages could mean for Israel’s ground offensive
‘I stopped counting after the ninth person was shot in front of us’

Jewish organisations have asked prosecutors to clarify whether chanting the slogan is a criminal offence.

But defenders of the slogan say it is a “long-standing protest chant” that calls for a homeland for the Palestinian people.

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‘From the river to the sea’ explained

Police said there had been “pockets of disorder and some instances of hate speech” during the demonstration.

But the majority of activity has been “lawful and taken place without incident”.

The Met said has seen a huge rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes from the start of October.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “It is not acceptable and I promise we will investigate.”

People in Rome demonstrating in support of Palestine
Image:
People in Rome demonstrating in support of Palestine

Elsewhere, hundreds of people marched in Rome on Saturday, with some demonstrators holding signs saying “Palestine, Rome is with you” and “No peace until we get freedom”.

In Australia, thousands gathered in central Sydney, shouting “shame, shame, Israel” and “Palestine will never die”.

Thousands gathered to show solidarity to Palestine in Sydney on Saturday
Image:
Thousands gathered to show solidarity to Palestine in Sydney on Saturday

According to authorities in Gaza, more than 4,300 people have been killed in the territory since the latest war erupted.

More than 1,400 have been killed in Israel – mainly civilians during the 7 October attack. At least 307 soldiers have been killed, according to the Israeli military.

Hamas officials say at least 345 Palestinians have been killed in the last 24 hours, with seven hospitals out of service or running low on fuel after being hit by airstrikes.

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