As Hamas’ rocket fire is pit against Israel’s airstrikes, tensions are running high in the international community with thousands flooding the streets in London and New York in protest at the rising death toll in Gaza.
Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied outside the Israeli Embassy in west London yesterday, holding up placards that read “Gaza: End the Siege” and “Freedom for Palestine.”
The roads were blocked as protesters, who had initially held the pavement on one side of the road, swamped the street causing traffic to come to a standstill.
Several members of the demo climbed on top of a double-decker bus as the crowd took pictures and waved the Palestinian flag.
The police said that the protest was largely peaceful.
As many as 3,000 people congregated at the Norwegian parliament in Oslo, while a smaller protest was held in Paris where 100 people demonstrated near the French Foreign Ministry.
Stephane Frappreau, who identified himself as Jewish, told the Associated Press that the impassioned marches were about “defending humanity and about stopping the massacre.”
“I think that people tend to forget that Palestinians are people who are suffering, kids and women, who are dying every day,” Mr Frappreau said.
“And I think that people shouldn't confuse things or come to quick conclusions, because being against Israel as we are today is not about being anti-Semitic.”
Earlier this week in New York, demonstrators on both sides of the conflict descended on the Israeli Consulate on the East Side of the city.
Pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups were kept on separate sides of the street, with both sides calling for an end to the violence which has escalated in the last few weeks.
The death toll in Gaza now stands at 120, a health ministry spokesman said, after Israel’s military continued to rain down airstrikes last night hitting a mosque, which it says held Hamas weapons.
Ashraf al-Kidra also said there have been 920 wounded Palestinians.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference on Friday that the offensive in Gaza will not cease until Hamas halts its own rocket attacks.
“No international pressure will prevent us from striking, with all force, against the terrorist organisation which calls for our destruction. No terrorist target in Gaza is immune,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Another demonstration is planned for the same location in London today, while the Palestine Solidarity Campaign stages further protests in Cambridge, Brighton, Aberdeen, Sheffield and Dublin among others.
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