Nottingham Palestinian Society has organised a protest in the centre of Nottingham in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza strip who have been injured by Israeli strikes.
In the latest escalation of violence in the region, as of Thursday 15th November 120 residents of Gaza are recorded to have been injured and 15 are said to have been killed. Three Israelis are said to have been killed and 5 to have been injured.
50-60 people were at the demonstration in Nottingham. The group plans on returning to demonstrate on Friday and hold a candle lit vigil on Saturday. Among those protesting were Palestinian students, including those with family in Gaza and the West Bank.
Impact spoke to some of the protesters about the demonstration.
One protester, a PhD student from the University of Nottingham, accused the Israeli government of “systematically trying to wipe out the Palestinian people”.
Protesters said that Israel is a “puppet government for America” and that the level of violence is unjustified. A student from Gaza questioned, “How is killing an 11-month old baby, one of the victims of the Israeli attacks, a threat to Israeli security?”
A student from the West Bank said that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are “hungry for peace”. Members of the group also told Impact that those within Gaza have the right to fight back given the extent of Israeli violence and the right to self-defence.
Some in the group called for an end to American donation in aid to Israel, and called for the international community to give aid instead to Gaza in the form of food and medical attention.
The group further accuse the media of failing to contextualise the recent conflict, implying that the violence has been sparked by the last few days, and not by a long history of repression of the people living in Gaza.
Protests have taken place across the UK today. In Brighton, Sussex University student Serena Patel told Impact that she saw protestors “walking in a line and chanting loudly”. An estimated 30 people walked through the main street.
There was widespread fear that the conflict over the past few days will cause a repeat of events in 2008/9, where Israel launched a 22-day military campaign on the Gaza strip. Human Rights Watch documented actions amounting to war crimes on both sides of the conflict, which they found killed 700 civilians in Gaza, and three civilians in Israel.
Stephen Gilmore and Emily Tripp
See a slideshow of images from the protest here