Four arrested as 200,000 attend pro-Palestine march in London

<span>The protest was held on the anniversary of Palestinian Land Day, which commemorates the events that took place on 30 March 1976.</span><span>Photograph: Guy Smallman/Getty Images</span>
The protest was held on the anniversary of Palestinian Land Day, which commemorates the events that took place on 30 March 1976.Photograph: Guy Smallman/Getty Images

More than 200,000 people took part in a demonstration in central London on Saturday to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, according to estimates by organisers.

The demonstration, organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, heard speeches from former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and The Crown actor Khalid Abdalla, among others.

A man was arrested on suspicion of a terrorism-related offence in relation to inviting support for a proscribed organisation, the Metropolitan Police said. The man has been taken to a police station in central London and remains in custody.

Three further arrests were made, one person on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and two others on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm and distress.

Corbyn criticised the UK government for continuing the “grisly, ghastly arms trade with Israel”.

He said: “What we’re watching on real time global television is the destruction of life, wanton destruction of life in Gaza.

“And our governments still can’t bring themselves to utter the words permanent ceasefire, still can’t bring themselves to stop the grisly, ghastly arms trade with Israel and the supply of weapons that goes from factories in France, in Germany, in this country and the USA, which are killing people in Gaza.”

Abdalla, 43, who played Dodi Fayed in the Netflix series The Crown, said he attended a pro-Palestinian protest when he was three and took his children with him on Saturday.

The British-Egyptian actor said: “I do not dream of a world in which in 20, let alone 40 years, my children stand here in Trafalgar Square demanding justice for the Palestinians, demanding an end to the occupation.

“We cannot allow this to continue for another generation.”

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, accused British politicians of “paying lip service” to a ceasefire.

She told the crowd: “We’ve heard British politicians talking about a ceasefire, but I would say if you really want a ceasefire now, call for a ceasefire in parliament, vote for it.

“Vote to end arms sales to Israel, stop bombing Yemen, re-fund Unrwa [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and join in action in the international courts for the prosecution of war crimes.

“That is what British politicians would do if they weren’t just paying lip service to a ceasefire.”

The protest was held on the anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates the events that took place on 30 March 1976 in which six Palestinians were killed protesting against Israeli land policies.

Thousands of Palestinians in Israel marked Land Day on Friday by calling for an end to the attack on Gaza.

The protesters, led by Arab members of the Israeli parliament, marched through the northern town of Deir Hanna waving Palestinian flags and carrying banners reading: “Stop the war on Gaza”.

A smaller contingent of Jewish Israelis joined the rally, some carrying signs reading: “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”, the AFP news agency reported.

Since war broke out nearly six months ago, Israel’s Arab citizens say they have experienced growing hostility from the government and from other Israelis.

In Tel Aviv, thousands of Israelis also demonstrated on Saturday to call for the release of hostages held in Gaza and to show their frustration with Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Protesters lit fires and used lorries to block traffic, calling for the Israeli prime minister to resign. Police said the demonstration was illegal and called the protesters “rioters”, AFP reported.

The war began with Hamas’s 7 October attack that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,705 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Truce talks between Israel and Hamas will resume on Sunday in Cairo, in the latest attempt to bring about a pause after nearly six months of war in the Gaza Strip, Egypt’s Al Qahera News TV reported.