“We demand an immediate ceasefire and a lifting of the siege on Gaza so that humanitarian aid can reach the population”.Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Labour Outlook team report from yesterday’s Palestine solidarity demonstration.
Yesterday, after an escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine that has killed thousands and injured thousands more, over 100,000 people marched in London, with other demonstrations across the UK, to ‘demand an immediate ceasefire and for Israel to lift the siege on Gaza so that humanitarian aid – including food, fuel, and medical supplies can reach the population’.
In a statement in the runup to the demonstration, the organisers of the march, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said ‘every humanitarian will be appalled and horrified, as we are, at the scenes we are witnessing of a severe escalation of violence since October 7th. International law must be the framework within which all actions should be judged. International law makes it clear that the deliberate killing of civilians, hostage-taking and collective punishment are war crimes. Such crimes must be condemned no matter who perpetrates them.’
The demonstration was also co-organised with Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Speaking at the demonstration, Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Ambassador and head of the Palestinian mission to the UK said, ‘the horror in Gaza is indescribable. The official casualty count is already in the thousands. The real casualty count will be much higher. Israel is indiscriminately bombing civilian infrastructure – homes, hospitals, schools, entire neighbourhoods.’
‘Israel has cut food, water, electricity, fuel supplies for 2.3 million Palestinian residents in Gaza. This is a war crime. Israel is leaving 1.1 million Palestinian children without power, without water, without food, without medicine, without shelter, without anywhere to go. This is a crime against humanity’.
Responding to calls from the Israeli military that 1.1 million Palestinians should move from the north to the south of Gaza to avoid the bombardment and imminent ground invasion, Ben Jamal, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Director, said ‘this is not a humanitarian gesture. Israel is signalling its intention to commit war crimes on in immense scale. It is seeking to pre-emptively justify the mass slaughter of many thousands of civilians, on the basis that they were warned to leave and should do so if they care for their lives.’
Commenting on the displacement order, the CEO for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) said ‘the international community must immediately demand that Israel rescind its warning and ensure Palestinian civilians are protected from attack. They should remember their responsibility to protect against atrocity crimes, including ethnic cleansing’.
You can see the demonstration in pictures, below.