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Five charged after pro-Palestinian protests in London

Head of Palestinian UK mission thanks British public for support, rejects Netanyahu’s ‘racist’ rhetoric

LONDON: The Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Husam Zomlot, has thanked the hundreds of thousands of protesters across Britain who demanded a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The remarks were made in an BBC interview on Sunday, a day after large-scale demonstrations took place in several cities, including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.

“The British people are renowned for always siding with fairness and today they have really delivered a loud and clear verdict that they are not pro-Palestine but that they are pro-international law, pro-humanity, pro-justice, and pro-peace,” Zomlot said. “For that, we salute everyone one of them who came out despite the intimidations and the attempts to silence them to say enough is enough.”

Emphasizing the importance of grassroots campaigns, Zomlot reminded listeners that the anti-apartheid movement that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa “emanated” from London.

“That is why you have South Africa House in Trafalgar Square standing there to remind everybody of the role of the people, particularly of the British people,” he said.

The ambassador also pointed out that some of the largest demonstrations in the US have been spearheaded by Jewish activists.

Earlier on Friday, hundreds of activists from the group Jewish Voice for Peace took over New York’s Grand Central Terminal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Reacting to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that his country’s war against Hamas was moving into its second phase, Zomlot remarked, “This isn’t a war against Hamas; it’s a war against our people.” 

He elaborated: “Bombing children is targeting Hamas? Bombing  hospitals is targeting Hamas? Bombing churches and mosques targeting Hamas? Bombing our civil infrastructure, rescue teams and medical teams is targeting Hamas? Cutting food, water, electricity and telecommunications…”

Zomlot then criticized the BBC and other international media outlets for blaming Palestinian victims for being killed. He challenged them to reconsider perpetuating what he describe as “false, racist Israeli propaganda that those Israel kills are ‘human shields’.”

Concluding his interview, Zomlot posed a hypothetical scenario, “For the sake of Israeli propaganda. Let’s imagine a psychopath in London takes 10 children into a hospital and takes them hostage. The British authorities would go and bombard that hospital? Seriously?”

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