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Israel-Hamas war: Tens of thousands of Pro-Palestinian protesters march in central London to demand ceasefire - in pictures

It followed a similar protest last week where an estimated 100,000 people marched through the capital demanding an end to Israel's war on Hamas.

People hold up placards and wave Palestinian flags in Parliament Square after taking part in a 'March For Palestine' in London on October 28, 2023, to call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
People hold up placards and wave Palestinian flags in Parliament Square. (Getty)

Tens of thousands of Pro-Palestinian protesters have marched in central London today as they continued to call for an immediate ceasefire amid an Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza.

Demonstrators took to the streets at midday on Saturday, with the march starting from Victoria Embankment and ending up at Parliament Square at 4pm.

It followed a similar protest last week where an estimated 100,000 people marched through the capital demanding an end to Israel's war on Hamas.

Protesters called for an "immediate ceasefire and an end to Israeli apartheid", with thousands of Metropolitan Police officers being deployed to deal with the crowds.

Demonstrators gathered with banners and posters and let off fireworks and red and green flares.

The Met had expected large crowds around Embankment, Westminster and Waterloo Bridges, the Strand, Whitehall and nearby roads.

It warned the force would be vigilant in responding to crime.

Police have faced criticism in recent days for not being tougher over slogans shouted by some protesters during the march last week. That protest was mostly peaceful with only a handful of arrests.

Watch: Aerials show huge pro-Palestine protest march in London

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28, 2023: Tens of thousands of protesters march across Westminster Bridge in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand an immediate ceasefire to end the war on Gaza on October 28, 2023. Over 7,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli people have died since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas began three weeks ago when Hamas launched the largest attack on Israeli territory in decades. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Tens of thousands of protesters march across Westminster Bridge. (Getty)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28, 2023: Tens of thousands of protesters march across Westminster Bridge in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand an immediate ceasefire to end the war on Gaza on October 28, 2023. Over 7,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli people have died since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas began three weeks ago when Hamas launched the largest attack on Israeli territory in decades. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
The protesters are demanding an immediate ceasefire. (Getty)

Footage showed large crowds setting off on the march organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with the protest due to end outside the Houses of Parliament after passing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Downing Street office.

Several conditions were imposed under the Public Order Act, including that protesters should follow a specified route and should not gather in a specified area outside the Israeli Embassy.

It comes as Gaza has now faced nearly three weeks of unrelenting air strikes from Israel.

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The bombardment began after more than 1,400 people in southern Israel were killed by gunmen from Hamas - the UK-proscribed terrorist organisation which runs Gaza - during its assault on 7 October.

Since then, the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry has said more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory strikes, which have caused destruction to civilian neighbourhoods.

Israel has now expanded its ground incursion into Gaza.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28, 2023: Demonstrators carry bundles representing child casualties as tens of thousands of protesters march across Westminster Bridge in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand an immediate ceasefire to end the war on Gaza on October 28, 2023. Over 7,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli people have died since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas began three weeks ago when Hamas launched the largest attack on Israeli territory in decades. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Demonstrators carry bundles representing child casualties. (Getty)
Protesters display a large Palestinian flag in Parliament Square after taking part in a 'March For Palestine' in London on October 28, 2023, to call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters display a large Palestinian flag in Parliament Square. (Getty)
A protester waves a Palestinian flag while sitting on a set of traffic lights in Parliament Square after taking part in a 'March For Palestine' in London on October 28, 2023, to call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester waves a Palestinian flag while sitting on a set of traffic lights in Parliament Square. (Getty)

'They need to stop'

Protestor Chrif El Amraoui told the BBC: “Just now marching, I'm crying because children are killed daily. Why? Why do they want more to be killed?”

Abdul Mahfuudi, who attended with his children, added: “The most important thing for us is for them to stop killing kids. They need to stop.”

The organisers of the march, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said ahead of the protest that there had been previous attempts ”to demonise those who are marching”.

Speaking to Novara Media, Ben Jamal, the PSC director, said: ”Before we even began, before we called the first big march, we have the home secretary [Suella Braverman] suggesting that the police should look with suspicion, anybody raising the flag of Palestine, that it wasn’t inherently support for terrorism, but it may well be, so look with suspicion.

“There were people concerned, ‘are we going to be arrested if we’re carrying the flag of Palestine?’”

There was some criticism of the chanting of ’from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, but Jamal said this was “a legitimate slogan of liberation”.

Following protests earlier this month, Braverman said the slogan was "widely understood as a demand for the destruction of Israel. Attempts to pretend otherwise are disingenuous".

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 17, 2023: Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly leaves 10 Downing Street after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on October 17, 2023. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Foreign secretary James Cleverly has warned about disinformation. (Getty)

Be wary of 'disinformation'

Earlier on Saturday, foreign secretary James Cleverly urged those taking part in pro-Palestinian protests to be wary of disinformation and manipulation.

When asked by a reporter if there was a risk of Iran or other foreign actors hijacking protests to stoke unrest, Cleverly said: "It is perfectly possible to support the Palestinian people but also to condemn Hamas."

"But sadly we do see people being manipulated, subjected to disinformation, distortion and sadly, I do think that a minority, a small minority, within those protests have got very much more negative aims."

Police officers monitor protesters on Whitehall during the 'March For Palestine' in London on October 28, 2023, to call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers monitor protesters in Whitehall. (Getty)
Police officers monitor protesters in Parliament Square during the 'March For Palestine' in London on October 28, 2023, to call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers monitor protesters in Parliament Square. (Getty)
Police Officers clash with rival supporters as protesters walk past the Cenotaph on Whitehall during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023. (Photo by Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police officers clash with rival supporters as protesters walk past the Cenotaph on Whitehall. (Getty)

Police will review CCTV and images

Commander Kyle Gordon, leading this weekend's policing operation, said: "We’ve been clear over the last week that wherever possible we will police up to the line of the law.

"Our most experienced and knowledgeable officers are working on the policing of these events, making sure we are utilising all legislation to its fullest extent.

"I would encourage anyone who sees any crimes happening in the moment to report it to the nearest police officer.

"Any footage or images of potential crimes should be reported to us – we have specialist teams whose role is to scour thousands of pieces of content identifying crime."

The Met Police added: “There is absolutely no place in London for hate crime.

“Officers will respond to any criminality where they see it and take decisive action, but there may be things not seen in the moment.

“We’ll also be reviewing CCTV and images/video shared by the public to identify offences.”