Rallies and a march in support of the Palestinians were held in London on Saturday, with thousands demanding halt in the Western countries’ armament of Israeli and the state’s occupation of Palestine, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
LONDON (Sputnik) – The rally in support of the Palestinians was timed to the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, a public statement of then-UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour announcing London’s support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population.
The protests started near the building of the US embassy in London. During the rally, the representatives of the protest organizers, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Palestinian Forum in Britain, delivered their speeches.
The organizers claimed thousands were participating in the rally. However, the police officers at the site of the protest declined to confirm their estimates, saying that they do not have the accurate data about the protesters’ number.
People from various UK cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield, have arrived in London to participate in the rally. The protests have also been attended by representatives of the Middle Eastern countries’ communities in the United Kingdom, as well as various activist groups and trade unions.
After the rally near the embassy, the protesters headed to the Parliament Square. On their way, they stopped near the residence of UK Prime Minister Theresa May to shout slogans denouncing the UK cabinet’s head.
Another rally took place near the parliament building. During the protest, its participants decried US and UK support for Israel, as well as their activities to arm the Middle Eastern country. The protesters also blamed the Western countries for their attempts to destabilize the Middle East.
A police officer at the site of the rally near the parliament building told Sputnik, that thousands participated in the protest. There were no reports about serious offenses during the rally, the officer added.
The rallies took place in London just two days after a gala dinner held in the UK capital to commemorate the Balfour Declaration centenary, which had been attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During the event, May praised the United Kingdom’s relations with Israel. May also reiterated the UK commitment to the so-called two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Balfour Declaration, which has opened the way for the establishment of Israel, also created the basis for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, still ongoing in the Middle East.
The two-state solution provides the concept of the settlement of this conflict. The solution calls for the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine. Palestinians seek to establish the independent state within its 1967 borders, on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.