British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a long-time supporter of Palestinian rights, posted a statement on Facebook that was to be read out April 7 demonstrations across Britain against Israel's latest killings of Palestinians in Gaza. By April 8, the death toll of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces while protesting in Gaza since March 30 had risen to 22.
Morning Star Online said: "Activists took to the streets in their thousands across Britain at the weekend to protest against the killing of innocent Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli troops. Saturday's demo saw protesters in Sheffield and Manchester occupy branches of HSBC bank, which is involved in funding arms sales to Israel.
"Protesters in Downing Street called on the government to take a stand against Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians, who were demanding the right to return to their homes."
Corbyn's message to the protests is below.
The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage.
The majority of the people of the Gaza Strip are stateless refugees, subject to a decade long blockade and the denial of basic human and political rights. More than two thirds are reliant on humanitarian assistance, with limited access to the most basic amenities, such as water and electricity.
They have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.
Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated.
We stand in solidarity with the Israelis who have taken to the streets this last week to protest their government’s actions.
The silence from international powers with the responsibility of bringing a just settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict must end.
The UK government must support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law.
The events in Gaza and the threat of renewed conflict underlines the urgent necessity of genuine negotiations to achieve a viable two-state settlement that delivers peace, justice and security to both Palestinians and Israelis.
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