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Thousands of UK protesters mark Quds Day in London

Scores of protesters have taken to the streets of London to mark the International Quds Day in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The demonstration was held on the last Sunday of the holy month of Ramadan and saw people marching down Regent Street before gathering at the junction with Oxford Street.

The protesters chanted “Free Palestine” and carried signs that read “Boycott Israel”, “Freedom for Palestine” and “Zionism = racism.”

Calls for boycotting Israel remained the main theme of the protest, a trend that has been promoted by pro-Palestinian activists for years as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

The demonstrators also held banners that condemned Israel’s “criminal siege and occupation” of Palestinian lands and stated that “Judaism rejects the Zionist state.”

The rally began outside of the BBC headquarters and ended at the US Embassy in central London, according to Press TV’s correspondent Roshan Muhammed Salih.

Co-organized by the Islamic Human Rights Council, the event also featured Jewish speakers who drew a line between being anti-Israeli occupation and anti-Semitism, an accusation that pro-Israeli lobbies often use to stifle protests.

Anti-Israeli sentiments have risen among people across the world — including in the UK — over Tel Aviv’s discriminatory policies in the occupied territories and toward the Gaza Strip.

 

The occupied Palestinian territories have seen tensions ever since Israel introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015.

In the UK, students in many universities have been leading various campaigns in solidarity with Palestinians despite a widespread crackdown by university officials.

The trend reached its peak when a group of students in the University of Manchester went on a hunger strike in solidarity with more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners who had been refusing food for days to raise awareness about the abuses they were being subjected to in Israeli jails.

The last Friday of the month of Ramadan has been designated by the late Imam Khomeini as the International Quds Day.

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