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London protests: Tens of thousands reiterate calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Police officers stand by as pro-Palestinian supporters prepare to march through central London, on May 18, 2024. (AFP)

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in central London, calling for an immediate halt to Israel's savage war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 

The Israeli regime's bloodiest-ever war on the besieged territory has so far claimed the lives of more than 35,380 people, the Gaza health ministry said Saturday.

This week’s demonstration has attracted unusually large numbers as it also marks the 76th anniversary of the Nakba — the mass displacement of Palestinians after Israel proclaimed its illegal existence on May 15, 1948.

The march commemorated the “ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, three-quarters of the Palestinian population, from their homeland in 1947/8, and the subsequent denial of their right to return,” said the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which organized the rally.

It said demonstrators were calling "again for action to end the genocide in Gaza.”

Protesters were holding placards, including one depicting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, with blue horns and Israeli flags across their mouths.

They were also carrying "ceasefire now" placards, as they made their way from Regent's Street to Whitehall, where they gathered for speeches.

Palestine solidarity demonstrators take to the streets across Britain every Saturday, despite politicians’ criticism and close police scrutiny.

More than 70 percent of British people support an immediate halt to Israel’s war in Gaza, according to a new survey commissioned by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU).

The United Kingdom (UK) has refused to call for an immediate ceasefire though. 

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