Hundreds attend pro-Palestine protest at London's Downing St

Protesters in Westminster held signs that read 'stop the massacre' and 'stop bombing Gaza'

Hundreds attend London vigil in support of Palestine

Hundreds attend London vigil in support of Palestine
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Hundreds of people gathered at Downing Street on Wednesday evening to remember the victims of a deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza.

Who is responsible for the air strike remains unclear with Hamas and Arab countries blaming Israel for the explosion, which killed about 500 civilians, and the Israeli military saying the hospital was hit by a rocket misfired by Palestinian militants.

Despite heavy rain in the capital, protesters gathered in Westminster holding signs that read “stop the massacre” and “stop bombing Gaza”.

They also chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

Prayers were then held in Arabic, with those attending laying out plastic sheets on the ground to pray on.

Among them was Marja Carter, 26, who said the events of the past week have been “devastating”.

“I find it absolutely disgraceful that our government has been so unable to take a stand,” Ms Carter said.

She said that Palestinians in Gaza have “suffered enough”.

“We cannot continue to ignore the situation any longer," Ms Carter said.

“I feel like our government only cares about it when it spills over into their strategic interests.”

A British-Palestinian woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she was at the vigil to “mourn”.

“We are half-Palestinian. Our family are from the West Bank,” she said.

“We are here to mourn everyone who has died in the last week, and since the beginning of the occupation.”

She said that the vigil felt “sad and cathartic”, and that the government must “wake up and acknowledge our humanity”.

Another attending, Hannah, 27, said that the British government must hold Israel accountable.

“I think they can hold the Israeli government accountable a bit more, and ask them more difficult questions,” Hannah said.

“They say that they don’t control the media but they could encourage the media to show both sides more honestly.”

Updated: October 18, 2023, 7:53 PM