MOSCOW - Thousands of people are rallying in downtown London on Saturday to express their solidarity with Palestinians amid escalated Israeli-Palestinian tensions, UK activist group Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which is one of the organizers of the National Demonstration for Palestine , said.
Tensions between Israel and Palestinians from the disputed Gaza Strip escalated last weekend, when hundreds of rockets were fired toward Israel from the Palestinian enclave, prompting the Israeli military to retaliate. The violence has claimed the lives of at least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis. A ceasefire went into force early on Monday.
"Thousands and thousands are gathered in Whitehall [in Central London] right now! What an incredible show of solidarity! The Palestinian people are not alone #ExistResistReturn #FreePalestine," PSC wrote on Twitter.
Twitter and Facebook users have posted numerous photos capturing big crowds of activists in London. Protesters are waving flags with such slogans as "Stop the War," "End Israeli Occupation," and "Boycott Israel."
Over 2,200 Facebook users have registered for the National Demonstration for Palestine event, while over 6,100 users have indicated that they are interested in it.
"The Palestinian people need our solidarity more than ever, and are calling for global protests to protect their collective rights. As Israel continues to flout international law and violate human rights, there is a responsibility on the global community to hold it to account and push for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people," PSC said on Facebook, calling on Londoners to join the rally.
Apart from PSC, Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa pro-Palestine organization and Muslim Association of Britain have taken part in the organization of the rally. They are supported by a number of trade unions, activist groups and human rights organizations.
For decades, Israel has been in conflict with Palestinians, who have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. -Sputnik