0452 GMT February 22, 2020
“I think it is a disgrace that Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited over by the British government for a state visit, at a time when he has just announced a series of new and illegal settlements in the Palestinian lands,” Chris Nineham, a founding member of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK, said Monday.
“Also, this is a man who has a record of ordering massive onslaughts on Palestinian people in Gaza,” he added.
Nineham was among the hundreds of Britons who staged demonstrations to protest Netanyahu’s trip to the UK.
A crowd of over 300 people gathered opposite the gates of Downing Street on Monday morning as Netanyahu began his first state visit to the UK since the beginning of Prime Minister Theresa May’s time in office.
Chanting “Free Palestine” and carrying signs that called Netanyahu a “Nazi murderer,” the protesters pointed out Israel’s atrocities in Gaza Strip and called for the Israeli PM to be tried at The Hague.
Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others injured.
An ongoing Israeli siege since June 2007 has put the coastal enclave on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
“How many kids have you killed today?” the protesters in London shouted as Netanyahu’s motorcade started to arrive.
They also called for a new leadership who would confront Israel over its illegal settlement buildings in the occupied Palestinian lands.
Emboldened by the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, the Tel Aviv regime has announced new plans to expand its settlement program, which has been condemned by the UN.
“We are very worried that the new settlements further undermine prospects for peace. We want Theresa May to tell Benjamin Netanyahu that Britain will not conduct any new trade while there are new and expanded settlements,” said one of the activists.
Meanwhile, less than 100 pro-Israeli protesters, organized by Zionist Federation, staged a counter demo, trying to disrupt the anti-Netanyahu rally.
Chanting Trump’s name, the pro-Israeli activists defended the settlements and thanked the American leader for fully supporting the illegal settlements.
A large number of police officers separated the two demonstrations and kept the crowds well away from Downing Street.