End The Israeli Invasion Of Gaza – 2014

End The Israeli Invasion Of Gaza – 2014 On 8th July 2014, Israel had begun Operation Protective Edge with air strikes and artillery bombardment on the narrow Gaza strip of Palestinian territory.

The previous month 3 Israel teenagers had been kidnapped close to an Israeli settlement on the West Bank; several weeks later their bodies were found – they appeared to have been shot shortly after capture and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would have a tough response.

After the kidnapping the Israel Defence Forces had immediately arrested 350 Hamas members in the West Bank, and in response Hamas fired rockets into Israel from the Gaza strip. Israel’s bombardment failed to stop the rocket attacks and after 10 days on 17th July they began a full-scale ground invasion, attempting to destroy the military tunnels which Hamas had created in Gaza.

Israel ended the ground invasion on 5th of August and a cease-fire was announced on 26th August. During the war between 2,125 and 2,310 Gazans were killed and over 10,000 badly injured, many of them permanently disabled. The homes of over 10,000 families were destroyed and more severely damaged. The huge military imbalance meant that deaths on the Israeli side were 72, five of them civilians.

The protest in London on Saturday 26th July called for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza which had already killed over a thousand Palestinians, mainly civilians.

It began with a rally on the main road close to the Israeli embassy a short distance down a private road which was heavily defended by barriers and police. The police tried to keep the protesters on the pavements and traffic flowing, but there were soon far too many protesters for this to be possible and it spilt out to block the road.

The rally here was fairly short, with speakers including Owen Jones and Labour veteran Walter Wolfgang. It was hard to estimate the number of protesters, but the wide street was packed with people for around 300 yards, many too far away to hear the speeched. I photographed the front of the march as it moved off and stayed with it for around half a mile before walking slowly back against the flow of the march taking more pictures of the protesters. There were still people coming out of the tube station for the march as I took a train to photograph another protest at Westminster.

After covering another event briefly I met up with the front of the march at Trafalgar Square as it turned into the top of Whitehall and was able to photograph it going down. It stopped briefly opposite Downing St, then continued to Parliament Square for the main rally.

Jeremy Corbyn sees me taking his picture

Parliament Square is almost square with its large central area, mainly grassed about 205×230 feet, and for this protest was mainly fairly crowded, with people spilling out onto the roadways around its edge in places. Though quite a few protesters had felt they had done their bit by marching on a hot day and were making their way to the station or elsewhere.

I stayed for some time, photographing the marchers and speakers but after listening to around 17 of them (you can see my pictures of them on My London Diary) I began to feel rather faint. It was a hot day, and although there is some shade, to take photographs I had needed to stand in the sun. The rally was still continuing as I left for home.

Stop the Massacre in Gaza Rally
End Gaza Invasion March to Parliament
Israeli Embassy rally – End Gaza Invasion


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.