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Pro-Palestine activists in London vow to keep protesting until 'genocide ends' in Gaza

June 23, 2024 at 10:49 am

A protester holds a placard reading ‘Free Palestine’ as thousands attend a pro-Palestinian protest, with Palestinian flags and anti-war placards, demanding the end to the Israeli attacks on Gaza in London, United Kingdom on June 08, 2024. [Raşid Necati Aslım/Anadolu Agency]

Pro-Palestine activists on Saturday staged a demonstration in solidarity with people in the Gaza Strip, vowing to keep protesting until “the genocide ends and Palestine is free”, Anadolu news agency reported.

Gathering at the Victoria Embankment Gardens, a group of protesters decried Western governments’ “silence” in the face of ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, where more than 37,500 Palestinians have been killed since 7 October.

Speaking at the rally, Hala, a protester from Gaza, touched on the worsening situation in the enclave, where people are facing hunger and disease.

Criticizing the UK government’s stance, she noted that so far the government has not accepted any injured Palestinian for treatment.

“The UK until today has taken zero patients from Gaza. Here we are eight months later in supposedly one of the most developed countries in the world, and not one single person is getting treatments in this country… not one,” she said as the crowd chanted, “Shame.”

Hala noted that many Palestinians living in the UK have applied for reunification with their families in Gaza but have not yet received a positive response from the government.

“It is disgusting that we live in a country that supports genocide, provides weapons to this genocide,” she added.

She lamented that residents in northern Gaza can only eat rice and are losing 10 to 30 kilograms (22 to 55 pounds), which she described as “intentional.”

“This is deliberate. The (Israeli) occupation wants us to starve. They want us to turn against each other. They want the activists to be burnt out. They want you to say, ‘I’m tired. I just want to go and have a drink and hang out with my friends.”

She concluded her speech by asking: “Are we going to sit here and watch these horrifying images and go back to our daily lives.”

The crowd responded, “No,” and Hala asked again if this government expected them to hear children crying from under the rubble and go about their daily lives.

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“No,” the crowd once again shouted during the demonstration.

“So, I encourage you all today and until this genocide ends and Palestine is free … keep going,” noted Hala.

Following the speech, they dispersed in groups, followed by police officers.

Later, some blocked Oxford Circus, one of London’s busiest road junctions connecting Oxford Street and Regent Street, to demand an arms embargo on Israel and a halt to new oil and gas licenses granted since 2021 by the incoming UK government.

On X, the group wrote it “will not blindly support a broken political system that turns a blind eye to genocide.”

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since a 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas.

The Palestinian death toll from relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since last October has exceeded 37,400, according to the Ministry of Health in the besieged enclave.

More than 85,600 people have also been injured in the onslaught, the Ministry added.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: UK Labour Party leader refuses to accept genocide is happening in Gaza