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Pro-Palestine protests continue around UK for eighth weekend

Protesters take part in a 'Day of Action For Palestine' in central London on December 2, 2023, calling for a ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)

Pro-Palestine demonstrations in the UK have continued into the eighth successive weekend, as protesters gathered in cities and towns across the country to demand a permanent ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip.  

Tens of thousands of people held protests on Saturday as part of a  "Day of Actions,”  organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), an alternative to the larger marches seen in previous weeks.

The protests were more diffuse as rallies and vigils were held in Manchester, Hull, Exeter, Bristol, Glasgow, Canterbury, Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge and across most London boroughs.

The group demanded an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and said its primary motivation was concern over further civilian casualties as Israel resumed its renewed attack on Gaza after the week-long ceasefire.

“Israel’s decision to resume its bombardment of Gaza flies in the face of international law, which prohibits collective punishment and attacks on civilians,” said Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

“Every humanitarian agency on the ground has indicated that the scale of destruction already wrought by Israel has pushed Gaza to the brink of catastrophe, where deaths from disease and lack of medical services could outstrip the current casualty figures,” he added.

“In that context not only is it unconscionable that Israel would renew its attacks, (but) it is also shameful and unacceptable that UK political leaders would give their support, tacitly or explicitly,” Jamal said.

A national march is planned for next Saturday at midday in London, organized by a coalition of groups including PSC, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have drawn hundreds of thousands onto British streets since Israel launched its genocidal war on Gaza on October 7.

More than 15,000 people had been killed in Gaza in the first round of Israel attacks before the truce with Hamas came into force on November 24.

Minutes after the truce ended, Israeli air raids and artillery fighting resumed in Gaza. At least 700 Palestinians have been killed in the latest Israeli attacks on the coastal territory after the seven-day truce ended on Friday.

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