More than 500 hundred gathered to protest against the on-going blockade and bombing of Gaza, on the 5th anniversary of the end of Israel’s massive military assault on Gaza. The protest took place close to the Israeli Embassy, and demonstrators heard from Baroness Jenny Tonge, Andy Slaughter MP and former former prisoner and hunger striker, Mahmoud Sarsak, amongst others.
Representatives from many organisations voiced the outrage at the ongoing blockade and attacks on Gaza.
Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:
“No more bombs, no more siege, no more settlements, no more. The world looks on whilst Israel blockades, punishes and steals. It is time for this to end.”
Baroness Jenny Tonge said:
“We must not forget with everything else going on in the Middle East the terrible suffering that is going on in Gaza. The people there are going hungry, being poisoned and deprived of their human rights. We call on Israel and those countries that back Israel to talk to Hamas and come to a sensible conclusion. ”
Mahmoud Sarsak paid tribute to the protestors, and said: “Palestinians are steadfast because of your support.”
Andy Slaughter MP paid tribute to the work of Del Singh, who campaigned tirelessly for Palestinian rights, and who was tragically killed in Kabul on 17th January 2014. Andy said: “There are people in the UK that care, people have a sense of justice, and overwhelming support for Palestinian human rights.”
Kamel Hawwash, Vice Chair of PSC, added:
“We will not forget the war crimes that were committed against Palestinians in Gaza. The Israeli war criminals should not sleep easy at night as they will be facing charges at the International Criminal Court.”
Leah Levane, from Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said:
“The Israeli Embassy over there does not speak for us. We stand by the people of Gaza”
Mohammed Kozbar from British Muslim Initiative (BMI) said:
“Gaza is not only 360 square kilometres, Gaza is in the hearts and minds of everyone of us, it is in the hearts and minds of millions of people from Jakarta to Morocco, and from London to South Africa.”
Kiri Tunks, from Action for Palestinian Children said:
“Children’s rights are being completely trashed by Israeli Forces. We don’t think it’s right to put children in solitary confinement and to separate children from their parents, but this is what’s happening.”
Ziad Elaloul, from Palestinian Forum for Britain, said:
“Enough is enough: Israel should end the siege on Gaza. Since the siege began (more than six years ago) people in Gaza have had a miserable life, the basic needs are not available because the border is closed. People who need specialist medication can not get it because of the blockade, and are dying as a result.
We ask the international community, including the British Government, to put more pressure on Israel and lift the siege on Gaza. And stop attacking the fisherman, stop attacking the farmers, and striking Gaza killing innocent people.”