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In London, 3rd mass protest for Gaza in a month
Published Saturday 09/08/2014 (updated) 12/08/2014 17:24
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Pro-Palestinian demonstrators listen to speeches at a mass rally in
London, on August 9, 2014 (AFP Leon Neal)
LONDON (AFP) -- Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday, demanding Britain take a tougher line against Israel over its military assault on Gaza.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said 150,000 people attended the march, the third major demonstration for Gaza in London in the past four weeks.

Protesters packed the main shopping artery of Oxford Street, marching to the US embassy and on to Hyde Park, many of them chanting "Free, Free Palestine" and holding up banners saying "UK - Stop Arming Israel."

The first two protests attracted at least 10,000 people each, according to police, although organizers said it was more like 50,000 each time. Police declined to give a number for Saturday's event.

Lindsey German, convener of Stop the War Coalition, an umbrella group of NGOs, said: "The level of anger is unprecedented.

"The British government has remained silent whilst Israeli aerial bombardment and a ground incursion in Gaza has killed thousands.

"We are calling for an end to the massacre and the recall of the UK parliament. Our government must be forced to end its support for Israel's siege of Gaza."

There were also fresh protests in Paris, which has seen several demonstrations related to the war in recent weeks.

Several thousand people took part in the march, calling for the end of "Israeli aggression," with a heavy police presence in place to prevent violence seen at earlier protests.

In Britain, the chairman of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Hugh Lanning, told AFP recent turnouts had been "amazing."

"That level of support we have never seen before. ... The world supports Palestine," he said.

Sayeeda Warsi, a Foreign Office minister and the first Muslim to sit in the British cabinet, resigned on Tuesday over what she said was the government's "morally indefensible" policy on Gaza.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he regretted her decision, and said his government had expressed grave concern over the civilian casualties of the war and consistently called for a ceasefire.

On Saturday, Cameron announced that medical experts from the state-run National Health Service would be deployed to the region within 48 hours.

"The conflict in Gaza has taken a terrible toll. The UK has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to help those affected and it is right that we see what more we can do," he said.

Meanwhile a public appeal for aid for Gaza by the Disasters Emergency Committee, on behalf of a number of British charities, had raised £4.5 million ($7.5 million) since its launch on Friday.

Israeli warplanes pummeled Gaza with 40 air strikes on Saturday as militants hit back with 14 rocket attacks, leaving international mediators scrambling to rescue ceasefire talks.
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1 ) Eton Mess / Oz
09/08/2014 23:22
"The conflict in Gaza has taken a terrible toll. The UK has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to help those affected and it is right that we see what more we can do," he [Cameron] said. - Does David Cameron live on a different planet to everyone else? He & most of UK Gov, along with other world leaders (read Friends of Israel) have consistently stood with Israel. Even now he reiterates Israel's right to defend itself (read blow kids to bits), thus perpetuating the conflict. Very odd.

2 ) Arnold / Canada
10/08/2014 00:51
Stop wasting your breath. Go protest against Hamas. If Hamas stops. The IDF will stop.

3 ) inbound39 / New Zealand
10/08/2014 01:33
There is the biggest evidence Palestinians have that they are not alone. Challenge US and UK contradictory actions. Shout out loud and support Hamas who have for the first time turned Israels head and made Occupation difficult. Make it costly for Israel and stretch the IDF as much as you can.Push the ICC and ignore US and UK. They are actively killing Palestinians.

4 ) shirley / australia
10/08/2014 03:31
to maan this march more attracted 250 thousand and in south arfica 200 thousand in support gaza and 4million dollars in 4 hrs cillected this is largest march ever in south africa and money being raised constant for gaza has also gone w hague uk foreign secratary there is protests held all over for gaza the bbc finally reporting on protests

5 ) john / uk
10/08/2014 04:17
uk must sever all ties with israel now in order to free palestine

6 ) mor / USA
10/08/2014 04:26
Britain was very instrumental and the reason for the establishment of the Zionist and fascist state of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people whose utmost goal is to live in peace with the Jews not the Zionists in Palestine. Palestinians have high hopes that British peace loving people exert a lot of pressure on their government to undo the many injustices previous British governments caused to the Palestinians. Western colonial powers have to stop supporting apartheid Israel.

7 ) mel kamell / malaysia
10/08/2014 06:18
All the best..,proud of Englishman..& the rest..of participants.!! Free Palestine..!! Free Palestine..!!! .., the truths..will prevailed !!!?? ..hope the mind of Uk's politician ..change !!! The whole world world wiz U... Palestine..!!!

8 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
10/08/2014 09:08
So? If Hamas managed to break through and cut off the heads of 100 Israelis those same tens of thousands would dance in the streets with joy. If Hamas fulfilled its goal and overran Israel and slaughtered 7 million Israelis, these same tens of thousands will dance in the streets with joy. When the Jihadists overthrow the UK, these same tens of thousands will be the first to have their heads hacked off.

9 ) Richard Lightbown / Europe
10/08/2014 11:48
Put the hookah down and get yourself straight Brian Cohen. While you are dreaming pipe dreams Israel is, factually, deliberately committing war crimes on a vast scale in Gaza (as well as defying the United Nations by continuing the occupation of Palestine). That is what concerns people with humanitarian ideals who are now taking to the streets in their tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands. Israel is doing its damnedest to de-legitimise itself in the eyes of the world's public.

10 ) rukeya - London / UK
10/08/2014 13:38
Brian Cohen- I was at the march in London on 09/08/14. I was there to call for an end to violence. From Israel. From Hamas. Full Stop. Please stop making this a religious issue. It is not. It is a humanitarian issue.

11 ) giovanni / Italy
10/08/2014 20:14
put Palestine under international protection.

12 ) Mel / USA
11/08/2014 17:54
Bravo #'s 9 & 10! Israel's imploding under 1/2 a century of savage,inhuman,barbaric war crimes against any one NOT(preferably Aryan-Jewish/Ashkenazi)& last time we saw that mindset was WW2(Nazi Holocaust).Israel's extremist Zionism=Nazism just in a Yamulke.That's TOTALLY CRIMINAL(except to USG)But the world doesn't need'masser'D.C.(Den of Colonialism).In fact UK/EU would be BETTER off,free of USG autocracy too.Robo-Brian'll wake up when he realizes that "Planet Zion"is not FLAT!(too late then).

13 ) Terry / Sweden
11/08/2014 18:30
People had enough of Israeli racism, lies and war crimes. There has to be an end to these atrocities once and for all.

14 ) Some FYI / for you
11/08/2014 21:26
No one can compare terrorists with any human being, except the terrorists themselves. Like ISIS, BOKAHAM and AL QUADIA, HAM ASS is a terrorist group & is responsible for terrorizing millions of innocent civilian Israelis and for the killing of its own people using them as human shields. To avoid civilian casualties, Israel ordered civilians from Gaza to go to south but they can go to where they came from: Jordon or Saudi Arabia. Hamas, brutal terrorist organization ordered its civilians not to

15 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
12/08/2014 07:41
Richard Lightbown - When did tens of thousands come out in London to protest the slaughter in Iraq? In Syria? In Sudan? Oh right, they didn't. Clearly, these people are NOT concerned with "humanitarian ideals". Their just Jew haters.

16 ) Ben Barka / Tanzania
12/08/2014 08:31
Israel has definitely lost PR war. Its propaganda machine has failed to spread its ridiculous mantra of 'self-defense"

17 ) Carlos / usa
12/08/2014 17:30
The reason I protest israels massacre is because it is an unbelieveable human rights violation by a country claiming to have morals! Israel has neither morals nor sense and shoots itself in the foot continuously.
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