Thousands of people marched through London’s West End yesterday in protest against Israeli action against Palestinians living in Gaza.
Chants of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ could be heard echoing through the Capital’s streets as people processed from outside the gates of Downing Street, home to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, to the Israeli Embassy near Hyde Park.
A policeman told The Kashmir Walla he believed numbers approached 16,000, adding that was a ‘guestimation’. People from across the UK attended the march, with banners from Gloucestershire and Leicesteshire, with one choirister proudly waving a Welsh flag outside the famous Ritz Hotel.
At the time of writing, more than 400 Palestinians have died in the most serious recent inflammation of the Middle East’s ultimately intractable conflict, many of them civilians. The assault by Israeli Defence Forces now includes ground incursions by commandos, who have been involved in urban combat with Hamas militants, reports said.
Fighting began following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers murdered by as yet unknown assailants. Israel blamed Hamas, which subsequently denied involvement. Already heightened tensions between the two sides escalated the conflict following the killing of a Palestinian teenager, widely believed to be a tit-for-tat response.
Last week there was widespread outrage at the killing of four Palestinian boys belonging to the same family, who died after being caught by shellfire while playing hide-and-seek on a beach in Gaza.
Ceasefire efforts by the UN and others continued today as reports came through of further Palestinian deaths due to shelling overnight near Shejaiya.