A MASS demonstration of more than 5,000 workers, students and youth continued throughout the evening from 6.00pm and into the night outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington, west London on Monday.
It was announced that there will be a mass Demonstration and March for Palestine on Saturday, assembling at 12noon outside the BBC in Portland Place, central London.
Mass rallies in support of Palestine were also taking place in towns and cities in every country on every continent, including in New York, Chicago and Florida in the USA and Athens, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam in Europe.
The Workers Revolutionary Party and Young Socialists delegation was with its banner stating: ‘Charge Israel with War Crimes! End the Occupation! Victory to Palestine!’
As the demonstration assembled, protesters spoke to News Line.
Judith Jones, a dental professional, said: ‘I’m against apartheid wherever it is, in Palestine or anywhere else.
‘In Gaza they are living in an open prison, who can stay at home when there is such oppression?
‘You have to do whatever you can to support the Palestinians, you don’t need to be religious to believe that.’
Tarik Bitar, a construction worker, said: ‘Gaza has been under siege for 16 years – nothing comes in, nothing goes out. They are living in an open prison.
‘The war against the Palestinians has been going on for the past 75 years.
‘The siege of Gaza has been broken by Hamas and it has given us hope.
‘Nobody likes killing but Israel is a military state.
‘The Zionists have their own agenda and they don’t care.’
Abel Lamy, a shopworker, said: ‘It’s been far too long, the Zionist state must go, it’s a massive military machine.’
Adam Idris, a gas engineer, said: ‘It was a fantastic operation from the Palestinians. The trade unions across Europe should call action for Palestine.’
While the rally was setting up there were chants of ‘Brick by Brick, Wall by Wall, Israeli Apartheid has to Fall!’ and ‘Long Live Palestine, Long Live Gaza!’
Faris Tamimmi, from the Palestine Forum of Britain, was the first speaker, who said: ‘There has to be a rejection of Zionist occupation. There were multiple attacks last night as there have been every night.
‘We condemn the British government, who yesterday called on every government building to carry the Israeli flag.
‘We condemn the British government for its refusal to condemn Israeli ethnic cleansing.
‘The complete siege of Gaza which has gone on for 16 years must end. End the occupation. Palestinians have the right to resist by any means necessary.’
Dr Ismail Patel, chair of the Friends of Al Aqsa, said: ‘Yesterday, (Israeli prime minister Benjamin) Netanyahu announced war on Gaza.
‘In reality the war has gone on for 75 years and the Siege of Gaza has lasted 16 years,
‘Israel said it is going to cut the electricity, food and water from Gaza. It called the Palestinians “animals”.
‘This is a despicable statement and it is being supported by the British government.
‘We British people condemn our government. We will not accept it. We have to change our government.
‘There have been reports of mass demonstrations across the world in support of Palestine, in Athens and all over the world. In our thousands in our millions we are all Palestinians.’
The next speaker was Lyndsey German from the Stop the War Coalition, who said: ‘The Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, all said we should not be here demonstrating tonight.
‘But we are here and we are going to demonstrate massively on Saturday.
‘The Zionist Settlers are attacking the Palestinian people. It’s not two sides as bad as each other. The Palestinians are fighting against occupation.
‘Look at what’s been happening in Al Aqsa.
‘This is the most right-wing government that has ever existed.
‘In Israel, Gaza is a prison for 2.2 million people and this rotten government supports everything that Netanyahu has been doing.
‘Join our Oxford Circus demonstration in huge numbers. We’re meeting at 12 noon.’
Next speaker was Samira Shander of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who said: ‘The Palestinians are defying the weapons of the fifth largest military machine in the world.
‘They called us “human animals”, but they are engaged in active genocide.
‘There is no basic medical care for Palestine. They said that Saturday’s was an unprovoked attack coming from nowhere.
‘But it’s coming from 75 years of colonial violence against the Palestinian people, racist violence by Israel.
‘Israel is a system of oppression and in Britain our duty is to end the complicity. Stop arming Israel.
‘There must be an immediate military embargo, cut investment.
‘Barclay’s invests millions in the Israeli military and Puma sponsors the Israeli Football Association.
‘There must be BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) of Israel and an immediate and legitimate campaign to do so.’
Kay Hudson, CND general secretary, said: ‘Ending the occupation is the only way to achieve a lasting peace.
‘The European Union is pulling the plug on funding Palestine to the tune of 691 million euros a year.
‘This is a savage attack on the daily lives of the Palestinian people, whose daily life in Gaza is already terrible.
‘Half of the people are in poverty, 80% of the youth are unemployed, and this is on top of the everyday situation.
‘There are daily fatalities in the West Bank. The international community looks on and ignores 75 years of human rights violations of the Palestinian people and 16 years of the siege of Gaza.
‘We need a lasting peace with an independent sovereign state of Palestine at its heart.
‘Join the national demonstration on Saturday, assembling outside the BBC at 12 noon.’
- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has blamed Israel for committing ‘genocide’ against Palestinians in Gaza, following Israel’s decision to impose a full siege on the territory.
‘The Secretary-General of the United Nations issued a statement, which we carefully read, as a warning and alert about the genocide that has begun against the Palestinian people in Gaza,’ Maduro said in a televised statement.
The Venezuelan President added: ‘We have witnessed in the past massacres and brutal atrocities against the Palestinian people,’ … and Venezuela considers the current situation to be a ‘new apartheid system’ against Palestinians.
‘We demand an immediate ceasefire, respect for United Nations resolutions, respect for the rights of peoples, and the commencement of peace negotiations to allow the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights to independence, land, and peace,’ he said, adding:
‘I stand with the Palestinian people, and I stand for peace.’
The Venezuelan government has called on Israel to fully and immediately end all settlement and occupation activities in the Palestinian territories, as the only way to achieve peace.
It stressed in a statement the necessity of ending violence throughout the Palestinian territories, through direct dialogue and commitment to Security Council Resolution No. 2334, noting that the development of recent events in the Gaza Strip is the result of the inability of the Palestinian people to find space in multilateral international legitimacy to assert their historical rights.
The statement stressed that now, more than ever, it is necessary to launch real negotiations between the two parties and restore the rights of Palestine.
Meanwhile, Iran said the ongoing large-scale operation launched by Palestinian resistance groups against Israel is a natural and legitimate response to the regime’s crimes against the Palestinian people in recent months.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remark in a phone call with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Monday, – the third day of Operation al-Aqsa Storm, the largest military operation against Israel in decades.
Amir-Abdollahian slammed the West’s inaction on the ‘systematic crimes’ of the Israeli regime against Palestinians, saying: ‘If Europe and the West had stopped Netanyahu’s crimes without double standards, perhaps Palestine would not be witnessing this situation now.’
Demonstrations in support of Palestine took place around the world on Monday, including in Bahrain, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Tunisia, Kuwait and Lebanon.
Hundreds of Australians also marched for Palestine on Monday, with a rally organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney, demanding Australia cut ties with Israel and urging supporters to ‘protest in solidarity with Palestine’.