HomeLatest NewsPro-Gaza protesters block bridge outside UK parliament

Pro-Gaza protesters block bridge outside UK parliament

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LONDON/JERUSALEM: Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked roads outside the British parliament in London , demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and clashing with police who prevented them from marching across Westminster Bridge.

Videos posted on social media showed police blocking protesters’ access to the bridge and a Reuters reporter said there had been several small scuffles. Unable to fully access the bridge, where they had planned to unfurl banners, protesters instead occupied the surrounding roads.

The protest aimed to push politicians to adopt a harder stance towards Israel. So far, Britain has stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire, with foreign minister David Cameron arguing that any such agreement could be unsustainable and may worsen violence without a plan for longer term peace.

London, like other Western cities, has seen regular and sometimes large demonstrations calling for Israel to halt the bombardment of Gaza in which, according to Palestinian health officials, thousands of people, mostly women and children, have so far been killed.

Israel’s onslaught began after Hamas fighters from Gaza attacked Israel on October 7, with 1,200 people killed and 240 taken hostage. The Israeli offensive had killed 22,722 people by Saturday, according to Palestinian health officials, and devastated the tiny enclave of 2.3 million people.

Fighting raged on inside Gaza, especially in and near the southern city of Khan Younis, where the Israeli military said it had killed three members of the Hamas. In a late night Israeli air strike, Palestinian officials said, seven people were killed and dozens were wounded at a house of the Al-Nabris family.

At least 122 Palestinians were killed and 256 others injured in Gaza in the space of 24 hours, they added. according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency, 18 Palestinians had been killed by an Israeli attack on a house east of Khan Younis.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported heavy shelling inside Khan Younis near the Al-Amal Hospital. Shrapnel flew into the medical facility amid the sound of heavy gunfire from drones, it said in a post on social media platform X.

The Israeli military said its commandos had killed three fighters and found “many weapons, grenades, magazines and vests that were used by Hamas” in a civilian home. overall, Israel claimed that it had killed 8,000 Hamas fighters in northern Gaza but some still remain there.

The traumatised residents of Gaza, most of whom have been displaced at least once by the bombardment, are wrestling with acute shortages of food, medicine and fuel. Israel said that its operation to dismantling Hamas had been completed.

In further escalation in the war, Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said on Saturday it had fired rockets at Israel, and its arch-foe said it had struck a “cell” in retaliation, as top US and EU diplomats visited the region to seek ways to halt the spillover from the war.

Air raid sirens sounded across northern Israel early on Saturday when the military said it had identified some 40 “launches” from Lebanon toward the area of Meron. Hezbollah said it had hit a key Israeli observation post with 62 rockets as a “preliminary response” to the killing of Hamas’ deputy chief.

Saleh al-Arouri Arouri was killed by a drone in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday. Lebanese group Jama’a Islamiya said it had fired two volleys of rockets at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, the third operation it has claimed since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct 7. AFP

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