Hundreds hold vigil outside Downing Street for victims of explosion at Gaza hospital

18 October 2023, 20:44

Hundreds took to the streets on Wednesday
Hundreds took to the streets on Wednesday. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Hundreds of people have held a vigil outside Downing Street for the victims of the explosion at a hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday night.

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Hamas claimed at least 500 people, including women and children, were killed when a rocket hit the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital. The death toll of the strike has not been independently confirmed.

The group blamed an Israeli air strike.

Israel denied this and said it was a misfired rocket launched by terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who also said they were not responsible.

The IDF has released images and audio that it claims prove it is not to blame for the catastrophe.

Separate footage published by Israeli media also appears to show the strike came from within Gaza.

Read more: New livestream footage claims to prove rocket fired from Gaza killed hundreds at hospital

Read more: Joe Biden describes the 'shock, pain and rage' of Hamas attack on Israel and compares it to 'fifteen 9/11s'

Pro-Palestinian supporters hold up flags as they attend a vigil for the victims of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital explosion at Downing Street
Pro-Palestinian supporters hold up flags as they attend a vigil for the victims of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital explosion at Downing Street. Picture: Getty

Despite this, many still believe that Israel was responsible.

Around 1,000 protesters gathered on Whitehall amid heavy rain on Wednesday evening holding signs that read "stop the massacre" and "stop bombing Gaza".

They also chanted "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free".

Palestinian supporters pray at the vigil
Palestinian supporters pray at the vigil. Picture: Getty

Prayers were then held in Arabic, with attendees laying out plastic sheets on the ground to pray on.

The Met Police had officers at the vigil, but there were no reports of any arrests.

A protester reacts while taking part in a vigil outside Downing Street
A protester reacts while taking part in a vigil outside Downing Street. Picture: Getty

A British-Palestinian woman, who did not wish to be named, said she was at the vigil to "mourn".

"We are half-Palestinian, our family are from the West Bank," she said.

"We are here to mourn everyone who has died in the last week, and since the beginning of the occupation."

She said that the vigil felt "sad and cathartic".

Several vigils and protests have already been held to commemorate the dead on both sides of the conflict, which has claimed the lives of thousands so far.

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