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British Home Secretary urges protesters to end Gaza rallies, claiming they have ‘made their point’

February 28, 2024 at 1:29 pm

British Secretary of State for the Home Department James Cleverly arrives in Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on December 12, 2023 [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

UK Home Secretary, James Cleverly, has urged pro-Palestine protesters to end their Gaza rallies, claiming that they have “made their point” and are placing “huge pressure” on police resources.

In an interview with The Times, he also raised doubts about whether the rallies contribute “value” to their demands for an immediate Gaza ceasefire and emphasised that no MP should feel “bullied” into changing their position.

“I think the organisers should recognise that they’ve made their point, they’ve made it loudly and they’re not adding to it by repeating themselves,” he said.

In response, organisers of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign accused him of viewing the protests as an “obstacle”. Director Ben Jamal noted that Cleverly did not appear to be “outraged by genocide”.

The government backs an immediate halt to the war for the release of hostages and the entry of aid into the Territory. However, Number 10 emphasises that any ceasefire would be based on certain conditions, including that Hamas can no longer be in charge of the Gaza Strip, to ensure it is sustainable.

Cleverly added: “It is putting a huge amount of pressure on to UK policing, not just the Metropolitan Police but also other police forces. And the question I ask myself is, ‘What are these protests genuinely hoping to achieve?”

“’They have made a point and they made it very, very loudly and I’m not sure that these marches every couple of weeks add value to the argument. They’re not really saying anything new.”

Meanwhile, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is planning further action on the weekend in support of Gaza. Organisers are calling on supporters to take part in local protests on Saturday against Barclays Bank, which it says holds “substantial financial ties with arms companies supplying weapons and military technology to Israel”.

Moreover, a march in support of a ceasefire in central London is planned for Saturday 9 March.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in an interim ruling this January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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