Palestine supporters' marches will take place in London every week 'for weeks or months' group chief says

14 October 2023, 16:14 | Updated: 14 October 2023, 16:17

Ben Jamal
Ben Jamal. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

The head of a group that organised a huge march in support of Palestine in London on Saturday has told LBC that protests could take place in London every week for months.

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Thousands of Palestine supporters gathered to march through the capital and cities across the UK as Israel prepared to launch a ground invasion of Gaza.

Israel has already carried out a series of localised raids in Gaza, and air strikes have levelled entire city blocks. Gaza has been sealed off from food, water and medical supplies - all under a virtual total power blackout. More than a million civilians have been trying to flee.

It comes a week after Hamas attacked Israel, killing hundreds of civilians, last Saturday.

Amid the violence and threat of many more civilian deaths, Palestine Solidarity campaign organised a march in London, which came alongside protests in Manchester, Glasgow and other British cities.

Read more: Thousands of pro-Palestine supporters march through UK cities as police warn 'people who deviate will be arrested'

Read more: Tanks roll into Gaza: Israel vows to 'hunt down and destroy Hamas' as thousands of civilians flee for their lives

People take part in a demonstration in support of Palestine
People take part in a demonstration in support of Palestine. Picture: Getty

Ben Jamal, the head of the group, told LBC that the protests will continue on a weekly basis.

He said: "We are giving out a number of key messages today. The first is that all people of conscience will be appalled at the scenes of violence we have witnessed since October 7 and none of us condone and all of us condemn the targeting and killing of civilians no matter who enacts those crimes.

"And they are war crimes under international law."

He added that "the root causes of violence" were "Israel’s ongoing military occupation and its enforcement of a system of apartheid upon Palestinian people."

Mr Jamal said: "Our third message is to the political powers. Not just the uk government, but also the leadership of the Labour party...

People take part in a demonstration in support of Palestine
People take part in a demonstration in support of Palestine. Picture: Getty

"They have indicated that Israel has a right to cut off the supply of food, fuel and basic medical supplies for the people of Gaza, despite that being illegal under international law."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told LBC earlier this week that Israel "has the right” to withhold power and water from Palestinian civilians. “Obviously, everything should be done within international law," he added.

Mr Jamal called on the UK government to pressure Israel to halt the invasion.

He added: "This was a demonstration that we organised at very, very short notice. We expect, unfortunately, to have to be demonstrating every week over the next few weeks – potentially over the next few months – and we expect the support for these demonstrations to grow."

Pro-Palestine Glasgow rally

It comes as the deadline for civilians to evacuate northern Gaza nears, with more than a million being forced to flee.

Civilians should "take advantage of the short time to move south" from Beit Hanoun to Khan Yunis, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Avichay Adraee said.

The UN has called on Israel to reverse the unprecedented directive, with secretary general Antonio Guterres saying the situation has reached a "new low".