‘ISRAEL IS TERRORIST – FREE PALESTINE!’ says Israeli Embassy picket

A section of the over a thousand-strong picket of the Israeli Embassy on Monday demanding an end to the Israeli bombing and siege of Gaza
A section of the over a thousand-strong picket of the Israeli Embassy on Monday demanding an end to the Israeli bombing and siege of Gaza

Over a thousand demonstrators, gathered outside the Israeli Embassy for the second day running on Monday, determined to show solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza, calling for actions from the trade unions and other organisations to thwart the murderous Israelis attacks.

Although the picket of the Israeli embassy was called for 4.00 pm large groups of Palestinian, Arab and British workers began to gather at about 2.00 pm.

Shouting, ‘Free Free Palestine’, and ‘Israel murderers, Israel terrorist!’, the demonstrators once more broke through the police barriers and occupied Kensington High Street, stopping all traffic.

Police were out in force with a horse-mounted squad threatening the demonstrators, and a phalanx of riot police in the black uniforms and helmets blocking the roads.

However, the attempted to use the horses had to be abandoned as the crowds stood firm, and the animals skittered.

The police lost control of their horses and so had to beat a hasty retreat, but not before they had brought their truncheons down on some demonstrators.

Alyaa Amili from north west London told News Line: ‘I want to express my anger and disgust about what is happening in Gaza, in front of all the countries that call themselves civilised.

‘They can see pictures of women and children being killed and do nothing, and they are supporting the Zionists crimes against the Palestinians.

‘I think the purpose of the aggression against Gaza is just to make the Palestinian people submit to the greed of the Zionists and western governments and to denounce the resistance against the injustice.’

Shabbir Kawsar, a local Council worker, added: ‘I have come to oppose the oppression and aggression by the Israelis.

‘The leaders of the other Arab states like Egypt are the friend of the Zionists, that is the only conclusion you can draw.

‘They could at least condemn the slaughter outright but they do not.’

Faris Tamimi said: ‘I came here because Gaza is being set alight by the Israelis and over 300 people have died and I want the Israelis to know that everyone is against them.’

Pilaf Saffar, a student, said: ‘Bush and Brown and the western media lay the blame for the “violence” as they call it on Hamas.

‘But everyone can see that it is the government of Israel that is carrying out war crimes, attacking while the Palestinians bravely defend their land, their identity and their right to exist before the world.

‘We have to let the Palestinians on the Gaza strip know they are not alone, we are with them.

‘We should be picketing the BBC who are not telling the truth, and the NUS and TUC as well because they are doing nothing even though they say they support the Palestinians.’

Mustafa Khalili, a freelance journalist said: ‘This demonstration is a great opportunity for people to vent their anger at the siege on Gaza, but it does not go far enough.

‘Over one million people demonstrated against the war in Afghanistan, and hundreds of thousands against the war in Lebanon and it has had very little effect in stopping either the Americans or the Israelis.

‘The campaign to boycott Israeli goods has to be stepped up.

‘It’s a massacre and it seems like the whole world is just silent as if they are giving the Israelis a green light.

‘I don’t agree with Hamas, but Abbas has always been an instrumental tool for the Zionists, and no one has emerged in the Middle East to replace him.’

Mick Ledger, a British Student from Brighton said: ‘I came down from Hampshire with my parents.

‘It’s an invasion. The Israelis are trying to eliminate the Palestinians as a nation, they are taking more than they have already taken.

‘Israel is a nation born in hypocrisy that oppresses people.

‘As soon as the Americans pull their money out, Israel will not exist.’

Michaela Asti, visiting Britain from Italy, said: I can’t believe what is happening in Gaza.

‘It is important for us to be here so that the world can see that there is opposition.

‘The media don’t tell the truth, they are trying to confuse people.

‘It’s not like the Israelis are just killing a dog. People have to know the truth about what the Israelis are doing.’

Ahmed Saif, an Egyptian living in London, said: ‘What we are asking for is the Palestinians’ rights.

‘They need to get their homes and their land back.

‘We want to stop the oppression, which has been going on for the last 60 years.

‘The defence of the Palestinians will never stop.

‘Everyone in the Arab countries knows the Palestinian Resistance will never give up.’

Riad Al-Taher, chair of Friendship across Frontiers, said: ‘Unfortunately what is happening in Gaza is part of an orchestrated aggression which started initially in 2003.

‘The US intervention in Iraq was a prelude to resolving the Palestinian issue on Zionist terms.

‘There are no voices to represent the Palestinians, or challenge the Zionist entity among the Arab leaders. The Arab trade unions keep silent.

‘We have to acknowledge that Hamas represents the Palestinian and has been elected by the Palestinian people and should be the sole voice for the Palestinian people.’

On Tuesday, Israel’s fourth day of attack began with shelling and missile launches against the northern and central regions of the Gaza Strip.

Residents of Jabaliya and the northern villages reported hearing shells falling in the area.

The death toll reached 360 with more than 1,700 injured, hundreds seriously so.

In the southern Gaza Strip a government building was demolished when Israel launched two missiles at the structure.

This was the second time Israel had targeted the building, the first was on Saturday in the first wave of massive strikes.

The Al-Bureij area in the central Gaza Strip and northern villages reported dozens of explosions.