Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in central London and begun marching in solidarity with Palestine chanting “Stop bombing Gaza” and “Ceasefire now”.
The “National March for Palestine” on Saturday is the latest in a series of rallies in the British capital to show support for the Palestinians since Israel launched an air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip following Palestinian group Hamas’s attacks on southern Israel on October 7.
The Hamas assault killed around 1,200 Israelis, and saw more than 240 taken captive.
Israel’s attacks, which it has said are aimed at wiping out the Palestinian group that rules Gaza, have killed more than 11,000 people in 34 days, including more than 4,500 children.
Former British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and member of Parliament for Islington also took part in the pro-Palestine rally and demanded a ceasefire.
The UK government’s ministers had called for Saturday’s march to be cancelled because it falls on Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War I and commemorates those killed in military action.
On Wednesday, British Prime Rishi Sunak told reporters that he would hold the Metropolitan police commissioner accountable for safety since the police official defied demands to ban the pro-Palestine protests on Armistice Day.
Right-wing counter-protesters arrested
Police said 82 people were arrested in central London on Saturday – members of a group of counter-protesters who opposed a pro-Palestinian march taking place in the city. They said they had made the arrests to prevent a breach of the peace.