Pro-Palestinian protesters gather at Israeli Embassy in London
21:00 17 November 2012
Protesters gathered near the Israeli embassy in Kensington today and criticised the Government’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.
With placards, flags and chants, the activists branded Israel a “terror state” and showed their solidarity with the people of the Palestinian enclave.
Speakers took to a podium to condemn the Government after Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Hamas regime in Gaza bore “principal responsibility” for the escalation of violence.
Organisers claimed that more than 3,000 people had joined the rally.
Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said protesters wanted to show they were “vehemently opposed” to the Foreign Office’s position.
She said: “We are insisting that the British Government uphold international law and human rights and tells Israel to end its war now.
“It’s very clear what is happening here - Gaza is under siege, Israel started this by assassinating the person who was trying to negotiate a long-term truce with Israel.
“It’s very clear who started this and who is suffering - 39 Palestinians have been killed so far and over 390 have been wounded.
“This war has to stop.”
The crowds waved Palestinian flags, pounded drums and sang “Gaza we will never let you die” and “From London to Ramallah organise the intifada”.
Throughout the afternoon more and more people joined the demonstration and lined both sides of Kensington High Street in front of the road leading to the embassy.
Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the UK, said: “At the popular level we have always been accustomed to see people supporting the Palestinian plight (in Britain).
“But we are very frustrated with the UK Government on its stand in supporting Israel in defending itself.
“How could an occupying force defend itself when they are occupying a land and putting 1.8 million Palestinians in a small strip under siege and blockade for five years?
“They have been living in an open air prison and the international community is watching the Israelis killing the Palestinians and inflicting so much damage on them and their properties without outright condemnation by these governments that claim to be democratic.”
The Metropolitan Police said a man had been arrested at the protest on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offenc