Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators march in London

Protesters call for sanctions against Israel as they march to Hyde Park in UK capital

Thousands of protesters attend a Palestine solidarity demonstration in London on May 22, a day after a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was announced. EPA
Thousands of protesters attend a Palestine solidarity demonstration in London on May 22, a day after a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was announced. EPA

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors marched through central London on Saturday to protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Demonstrators walked from Embankment to Hyde Park carrying banners that said “Free Palestine”, “Stop bombing Gaza” and “Sanctions on Israel”.

Some were draped in Palestinian flags and green and red smoke flares were set off during the demonstration.

Groups of police watched as some protesters climbed bus stops and lampposts and wrote “Free Palestine” on walls.

Chants of “Israel is a terrorist state” and “We are all Palestinians” could be heard during the march.

As the crowd reached Downing Street, chants of “Boris Johnson, shame on you” rang out.

A temporary stage was set up in Hyde Park, where speeches will be made this afternoon.

Protester Muktha Ali, 32, from Harrow, north-west London, said: “I’m here because this is now urgent. The Israeli occupation needs to end now – it’s been long enough.

“Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children have been bombed and murdered, Palestine has to be free.”

Another, named Jake, said: “I stand in solidarity with Palestinians, and so should everyone, no matter your nationality.

“It’s great to see so many people come out in their thousands to support the cause. We will win – our cause will be heard.”

While the demonstration was held in relative peace, a few people could be seen throwing objects at police who attempted to split the crowds in Hyde Park.

Gaza medical officials said 248 people were killed during the bombardment.

Health officials said 13 people were killed in Israel in the hostilities, during which the Israeli military said Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups fired about 4,350 rockets.

Updated: May 24, 2021 06:54 PM

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