Palestine Supporters Protest UK Arms Deliveries to Israel in Central London

Thousands protest UK arms sales to Israel as Gaza faces humanitarian crisis; universities divest from firms linked to occupation.

Aqsa Younas Rana
New Update
Palestine Supporters Protest UK Arms Deliveries to Israel in Central London

Palestine Supporters Protest UK Arms Deliveries to Israel in Central London

On April 29, 2024, over a thousand Palestine supporters marched in central London to protest against the UK's arms deliveries to Israel. The demonstration was organized in response to Israel's impending military operation in Rafah, Gaza, which is claimed to be the last remaining stronghold of Hamas.

The protesters gathered to voice their opposition to the UK's continued support of Israel through arms sales, as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens. According to reports, 30% of children under two in Gaza are acutely malnourished, and 70% of the population faces 'catastrophic hunger' due to severe food shortages exacerbated by Israeli restrictions on aid entry.

Sam Attar, a US doctor who has worked in Gaza hospitals, described the dire situation firsthand, recounting the "relentless pressure of carrying out triage" and the "horrors" he has witnessed. The UN Human Rights chief has accused Israel of a potential war crime for its continued restrictions on aid to Gaza.

The protest in London coincided with a wave of campus demonstrations across the UK and US, calling for universities to divest from companies linked to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. The University of York announced it has divested £33,251 from Cisco Systems and Smiths Group after prolonged student protests. According to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK universities collectively invest over £420 million in companies tied to Israel's violations of international law.

Why this matters:

As diplomatic efforts intensify to secure a ceasefire and hostage-release deal in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, has called on the US to intervene and stop the Israeli assault on Rafah, warning it would lead to a "small strike" on Gaza. The UK foreign secretary and the US secretary of state are due to visit Saudi Arabia in the next 24 hours to push for a ceasefire before the Israeli operation begins.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 1,000 protesters in London opposed UK arms sales to Israel amid Gaza crisis.
  • 30% of Gaza children under 2 are acutely malnourished, 70% face 'catastrophic hunger'.
  • UK universities invest £420M in firms tied to Israel's violations of international law.
  • Palestinian leader calls on US to stop Israel's assault on Rafah, Gaza to avert escalation.
  • UK, US diplomats to visit Saudi Arabia to push for Gaza ceasefire before Israeli operation.