Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters descend on Central London after Rafah massacre

Thousands of people have descended on Whitehall to protest this evening (Tuesday May 28)
-Credit: (Image: Westminster MPS)

Over 10,000 people are protesting in Central London against the attack on Rafah, Gaza, this evening (Tuesday, May 28). According to videos and images posted on social media, huge numbers of people have joined the protest.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign tweeted: "10,000+ people at Downing Street now for Palestine as Israel continues its brutal attack on Rafah.

"Our govt and the Labour leadership have provided support for Israel as it commits genocide. They have blood on their hands. They must call for a #CeasefireNOW and #StopArmingIsrael."

Metropolitan Police has said the number of people attending this event is far higher than was expected by organisers. Therefore, the police force has said they have blocked Whitehall to traffic while the protest takes place.

The Met has also now told the activists they must disperse by 8pm. Whitehall will then be reopened as soon as possible after this.

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Westminster MPS posted on X: "A demonstration is taking place on Whitehall this evening, organised by a coalition including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other groups. Officers are in the area to ensure the demonstration takes place peacefully and to deal with any offences."

They added: "The turnout has significantly exceeded the estimates of the organisers. To ensure the safety of everyone taking part we have closed Whitehall to traffic.

"We have put in a new condition requiring the protest to end at 8pm and we'll reopen the road as soon as possible after that." The road is currently closed between The Strand and Westminster Bridge, according to traffic monitoring service Inrix.

Videos from the scene show many people holding Palestinian flags, and another shows a crowd chanting 'CEASEFIRE NOW'. This comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under pressure to recognise a Palestinian state, after Spain, Norway and Ireland officially announced their recognition.

What is happening in Rafah, Gaza?

Palestinian residents of the southern Gaza city of Rafah have reported an escalation of fighting Tuesday as Israeli forces pressed their assault on the border town once seen as the territory's last refuge, reports AP.

Israel says it is carrying out limited operations in eastern Rafah along the Gaza-Egypt border, as the United States and other allies of Israel have warned against a full-fledged offensive in the city.

Israeli shelling and airstrikes west of Rafah killed at least 37 people overnight and on Tuesday, most of them sheltering in tents, according to witnesses, emergency workers and hospital officials. The strikes pummeled the same area where strikes on Sunday triggered a deadly fire that engulfed tents in a camp for displaced Palestinians, killing 45 people.

Israeli leaders say their forces must enter Rafah to dismantle Hamas and return hostages taken in the October 7 attack that triggered the war.

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