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Protesters demand end to UK arms sales to Israel

A march, organized by Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, and Stop the War Coalition demanding an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip, passes over Waterloo bridge on October 28, 2023, in London, England.

An emergency protest outside the UK Prime Minister's office to stop an imminent massacre in the southern Gaza city of Rafah was called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a coalition of other similar organizations.

Week after week, pro-Palestinian protesters have come out in huge numbers to demand that the British government call for a permanent and immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and to terminate its military and political support for Israel.

And they're galvanized by the knowledge and hope that the pressure they're ramping up on the British government will eventually translate into action.

In a sign of that pressure working, just a few hours before the protests began, the UK's Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, joined other European leaders to caution the Netanyahu regime to think twice about its mass incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which shelters 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

We are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think very seriously before it takes any further action.

But above all, what we want is an immediate pause in the fighting and we want that pause to lead to a ceasefire, a sustainable ceasefire without a return to further fighting.

David Cameron, UK Foreign Secretary

But while that may seem like a change in the UK government's tone, the protesters here say it doesn't go far enough.

What kind of dystopian world are we in where asking for peace is become slandered? I just do not understand, I cannot comprehend what more needs to be done.

Do they need to see 1 million Gazans being exterminated over TVs or drowning in the Mediterranean Sea?

Because that is [sic] the options that Israel is giving them.

Omar Abdel-Mannan, Health Workers for Palestine

Another demand made by the protesters is an end to UK arms sales to Israel.

According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), between 2015 and 2022, the UK licensed more than half a billion dollars worth of weapons to Tel Aviv.

The UK Government should be having no trade with Israel, let alone the arms trade, let alone trading equipment that kills Palestinians.

Shamuil Joarder, Friends of Al-Aqsa

The fourth national demonstration of the year is planned for February 17. Organizers say they're expecting hundreds of 1000s to turn out to hold the British government's feet to the fire

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