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Eighth National March for Palestine calls on UK government to end its complicity with Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

  • Hundreds of thousands expected in London to condemn UK government actions and call for a ceasefire now!
  • International Court of Justice has ruled there is plausible evidence that Israel is committing a genocide against Palestinian people in Gaza
  • The ruling creates a legal duty under the Genocide Convention for states such as the UK to ensure they are not complicit

On Saturday February 3rd hundreds of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate in London on a National March for Palestine. This is the eighth such march and comes in the wake of the interim ruling against Israel by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on 26 January 2024. Not only did the ICJ find South Africa’s case – that “Israel …. is engaging in …genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza” – to be plausible, it also found evidence of the risk of further acts of genocide to be sufficient for the court to order interim measures to prevent such acts.

The UK government’s response to this ruling has been absolutely shameful, seeking to downplay its significance and urgency. An immediate response should be to suspend UK arms exports to Israel but instead the Government joined other nations in suspending funding to UNRWA, which plays a crucial role in providing essential services to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere across the region. This is unconscionable in the context of a genocide.

Such a step by the UK government opens it to the charge of being in violation of its responsibilities, as a party to the Genocide Convention, to act to ensure it is not complicit in the commission of genocide. Cutting funding to UNRWA will undeniably increase the risk of irreparable harm to the people of Gaza.

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of more than 27 000 Palestinians, the majority of them being women and children. Virtually all of the population of 2.3 million are displaced, struggling for shelter, food and water. Israel has destroyed most healthcare services and education facilities. Far from obeying the ICJ orders, Israel continues its attacks in what constitutes an attempt at ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Gaza.

Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said :

“Israel has been committing the gravest of crimes in Gaza – genocide. It has been brought before the International Court of Justice which having assessed the substantial body  of evidence provided by South Africa, found it to be credible.

We have been marching and protesting in our hundreds of thousands for more than three months warning of exactly this – Israel’s actions demonstrate a genocidal intent. Israel has so far killed more than 27 000 Palestinian men, women and children. How long will our political leaders continue to aid and provide cover for genocide?

We will march to Whitehall to bring our message home to Downing Street – the UK must end its complicity in Israel’s genocide and demand a ceasefire now! A permanent ceasefire must be the starting point to address the underlying causes, including Israeli military occupation and a system of oppression against the Palestinian people that is considered internationally to meet the legal definition of apartheid. “