Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through London, Berlin and Paris on Saturday to call for a ceasefire in Gaza after a week when Israel’s military intensified their assault against Hamas.
In London, television footage showed large crowds holding sit down protests blocking Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, before marching to and gathering in Trafalgar Square.
Protesters held “Freedom for Palestine” placards and chanted “ceasefire now” and “in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said it had made three arrests. In a post on X, police said one person was arrested for displaying a placard that could incite hate, contrary to terrorism legislation.
Britain has supported Israel’s right to defend itself after the Hamas militant group killed 1,400 people and took more than 240 hostage in an Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel.
Echoing Washington’s stance, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has stopped short of calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and instead advocated humanitarian pauses to allow aid to reach people in need.
Thousands of protesters marched in central Paris to call for a ceasefire with placards reading “Stop the cycle of violence” and “To do nothing, to say nothing is to be complicit.”
In Berlin, demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. One woman marched with her arm in the air, her hand covered in fake blood.
Western governments have offered support to Israel after the Oct. 7 attacks but there has been growing concern over civilian casualties that have soared under Israel’s bombardment that has seen thousands killed, wounded and displaced in Gaza.
Palestinians reported a deadly Israeli strike on a U.N.-run school in northern Gaza serving as a shelter on Saturday.