Thousands join London march in solidarity with Palestine | Palestinian territories

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Thousands of people have begun to march through Hyde Park, central London, in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Organisers say immediate action is needed from the UK government to help end the “brutal” violence against the Palestinian people.

At least 126 people have been killed in Gaza, including 31 children, after a spiral of violence that began with the eviction of Arabs from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem. In Israel at least seven people have been killed, including one child.

Saturday is the Palestinian Nakba day, marking the anniversary of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from their homes more than 70 years ago.

A boy waves a Palestine flag as demonstrators attend a protest in London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Protesters gathered at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, and will march to the Israeli embassy at Palace Green, Kensington. The MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Zarah Sultana and Diane Abbott are among the scheduled speakers.

The demonstration has been organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

A spokesperson said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action. It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.

“The bombardment of Gaza which is killing civilians including children is a war crime. It is occurring in the context of the illegal forced displacement of families in Jerusalem and attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel by far-right groups including illegal settlers from the West Bank.

“The UK government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support. Such support must end with a minimum start being an end to the two-way arms trade and trade with illegal Israeli settlements.”

On Tuesday, there were tensions as thousands of protesters waving Palestinian flags and carrying placards marched from Westminster to the Israeli embassy were met with a small number of pro-Israel counter protesters. Five people were arrested.

The organisers of Saturday’s demonstration said they expected up to 20,000 people.