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Thousands gather in London to urge G7 support for Palestine

Protest banners are laid on the road near Downing Street on June 12, 2021 in London, England [Guy Smallman/Getty Images]
Protest banners are laid on the road near Downing Street on June 12, 2021 in London, England [Guy Smallman/Getty Images]

Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters gathered in London on Saturday calling on the Group of Seven (G7) leaders to support Palestinian rights.

The protest formed part of the "Resist G7 Day of Action for International Justice" organised by a coalition of groups calling on the G7 nations to "end all military-security cooperation with Israel, and employ targeted sanctions until Israel complies with international law," the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

Organisers said over 8,000 people attended the protest, and 185,000 people directly contacted MPs to "pressure the UK government to hold Israel accountable for repeatedly violating international law, via the imposition of sanctions."

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the protest and called on the G7, which was meeting in southwest England, to support Palestinian refugees and recognise the rights of Palestinian people.

"At today's Justice For Palestine demonstration in London, I also called for a halt to arms sales," Corbyn wrote on Twitter.

"UK-made weapons are killing civilians – including children – in conflicts abroad. This must stop," he added.

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The protest came two days before Parliament was set to debate a petition to introduce sanctions against Israel, after it received more than 380,000 signatures, above the 100,000 threshold required for it to be considered.

The text of the petition reads: "The government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms."

"Its disproportionate treatment of Palestinians and settlements that are regarded by the international community as illegal are an affront to civilized society."

It came after Israel brutally attacked Palestinian worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the final days of Ramadan and went on to launch airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip. Almost 300 Palestinians were killed across the occupied territories as a result of Israel's attacks.

For 11 days, Israel launched attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip. Health officials in Gaza say 254 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed and more than 1,900 wounded in air and artillery bombardments.

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