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Thousands join London march in solidarity with Palestine

Thousands of people have begun to march through central London in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Organisers say immediate action is needed from the UK government to help end the “brutal” violence against the Palestinian people.

At least 139 people have been killed in Gaza, including 39 children, after a spiral of violence that began with the eviction of Arabs from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In Israel at least seven people have been killed, including one child.

Saturday is the Palestinian Nakba day, marking the anniversary of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from their homes more than 70 years ago.

A boy waves a Palestine flag as demonstrators attend a protest in London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Crowds marched through Hyde Park before arriving outside the gates of the Israeli embassy in Kensington.

Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told crowds they were part of a “worldwide movement for justice”.

“We must remember we are part of an international movement,” she said. “This is a worldwide movement for justice. “Palestinian people are having their land seized … and they are now being killed in their homes. All of this is illegal.

“Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity. Thank you for standing with us.”

Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP Zarah Sultana were also scheduled to speak.

The demonstration has been organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

A spokesperson said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action. It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.

“The bombardment of Gaza which is killing civilians including children is a war crime. It is occurring in the context of the illegal forced displacement of families in Jerusalem and attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel by far-right groups including illegal settlers from the West Bank.

“The UK government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support. Such support must end with a minimum start being an end to the two-way arms trade and trade with illegal Israeli settlements.”

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, told crowds on Saturday: “This time is different. This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression.

“Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity. Thank you for standing with us.”

Organisers said crowds stretched back to Bayswater Road from Kensington High Street and numbered 100,000.

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