Palestine supporters march in London against Israel action in Gaza

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Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched in central London on Saturday, calling for an end to Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip which was triggered by last weekend’s rampage in Israel by the Hamas militant group.

Protesters, many of them waving Palestinian flags and signs saying “Free Palestine,” gathered close to Oxford Circus from where they planned to head to Downing Street, the official residence and office of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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Chants were aimed at the governments of Britain and the United States for supporting Israel.

Belal Stitan, a 22 year-old student, said he was fearful for his relatives in Gaza.

“No one in Gaza is OK. My family are all in Gaza and none of them are OK,” he said, adding he wanted to get back to being able to speak to his cousins about normal things such as football and how they were getting on in school.

“This situation is a big, big problem for humanity and for me to have to say to the world, remember that we are human beings ..., I can’t believe that we are here.”

Police issued warnings before the “March for Palestine” that anyone with a flag expressing support for Hamas or other groups proscribed as terrorist by Britain would be arrested.

Earlier on Saturday, the headquarters of the BBC broadcaster, which is located close the start of the march, was daubed in red paint. It was not immediately clear who had defaced the entrance to the building.

Pro-Palestinian protests were planned in other cities around the world on Saturday.

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