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Israel-Gaza conflict: Thousands march in London to demonstrate against Gaza violence

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Thousands have people have gathered on the streets of central London to protest in solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict with Israel.

“Immediate action” is needed by the UK government, organisers say, to help end the “brutal” violence against the people of Palestine.

By midday on Saturday, thousands of people had begun marching through Hyde Park in central London, chanting “free, free Palestine” and holding banners, heading towards the Israeli embassy.

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Demonstrators marched through Hyde Park
Demonstrators walk through Hyde Park as they make their way to the Israeli embassy in London, during a march in solidarity with the people of Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021
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Those marching are demanding an end to the violence in Gaza

On a makeshift stage on Kensington High Street, Labour MPs Zarah Sultana and Diane Abbott are expected to give speeches, as is former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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It comes after thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes after days of sustained attacks.

Since Monday evening, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, has fired hundreds of rockets towards Israel, which responded by attacking the Gaza Strip with tanks and air strikes.

In Gaza, at least 126 people have died, including 31 children and 20 women, while in Israel, seven people have been killed, including a six-year-old boy and a soldier.

Saturday’s demonstration in London was organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop The War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

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A spokesperson for the organisers said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action.

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“It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.

“The bombardment of Gaza which is killing civilians including children is a war crime.

“The UK Government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support.”

The Metropolitan Police said: “Officers are engaging with a group of people who have gathered for a demonstration in central London this afternoon.

“A policing plan is in place to ensure everybody is kept safe and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

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