Four people arrested after more than 200,000 people attend pro-Palestine London protest

People taking part in Stop the Genocide in Gaza national demonstration in central London on Saturday. Credit: PA

Four people were arrested, including one man on suspicion of a terrorism-related offence, at a pro-Palestinian protest in central London, the Metropolitan Police has said.

More than 200,000 people took part in the demonstration on Saturday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, according to estimates by organisers, when crowds marched from Russell Square to Trafalgar Square.

The demonstration, organised in part by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, heard speeches from former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and The Crown actor Khalid Abdalla, among others.

A person taking part in Stop the Genocide in Gaza national demonstration in central London. Credit: PA

The Met said officers arrested one man on the Strand in relation to inviting support for a proscribed organisation.

Three further arrests were made at the march – one person was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and two others were arrested on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm and distress.

The force also said they also policed a pro-Israel counter-protest in central London on Saturday.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, introduced by organisers as “the people’s prime minister”, criticised the UK Government for continuing the “grisly, ghastly arms trade with Israel”.

He said: “What we’re watching on real time global television is the destruction of life, wanton destruction of life in Gaza.

“And our governments still can’t bring themselves to utter the words permanent ceasefire, still can’t bring themselves to stop the grisly, ghastly arms trade with Israel and the supply of weapons that goes from factories in France, in Germany, in this country and the USA, which are killing people in Gaza.”

Mr Corbyn continued: “And when (US) President Biden announces that he wants more aid to go into Gaza, well, President Biden, it’s your planes that are bombing the aid when it arrives in Gaza.

“It is your military support that is causing so much of the problems."

Protesters gathered at Russell Square before marching through the city to Trafalgar Square.

Abdalla, 43, who played Dodi Fayed in the Netflix series The Crown, said he attended a pro-Palestinian protest when he was three and took his children with him on Saturday.

Khalid Abdalla speaking at Stop the Genocide in Gaza national demonstration in central London. Credit: PA

The British-Egyptian actor said: “While it fills me with pride to have them here, and stand in front of them demanding a free Palestine, I dream of a world in which this is not the legacy we pass on to them.

“I do not dream of a world in which in 20 let alone 40 years, my children stand here in Trafalgar Square demanding justice for the Palestinians, demanding an end to the occupation.

“We cannot allow this to continue for another generation,” he added, and also called pro-Palestinian demonstrations “love marches”.

The death toll in Gaza since Israel's ground offensive began in October has passed 32,705, local health authorities in the territory said on Saturday, with 82 bodies taken to hospitals in the past 24 hours.

Gaza’s Health Ministry doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants in its total toll but has said the majority of those killed have been women and children.

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