Israel-Gaza war: Oxford protesters march for ceasefire

Protesters on Cowley Road
Hundreds of protesters in Oxford marched from Cowley to Bonn Square

A march has taken place in Oxford calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Manzil Way, Cowley, and marched to Bonn Square in the centre of the city.

Organisers say the Palestinian people desperately need humanitarian aid.

Rabiah Abbasi, from Muslim-based youth group Help The World Oxford, said she wanted local politicians to "see that the people of Oxford demand a ceasefire and an end to this genocide".

She said the people of Gaza deserved to "wake up to the sound of birds and not bombing".

Rabiah Abbasi
Organiser Rabiah Abbasi said she wanted local councillors and MPs to know the strength of feeling in the city

Kendall Gardner, a Jewish DPhil student at the University of Oxford, said: "The humanitarian situation in Gaza is an absolute atrocity.

"It's dire, and it's a failure on behalf of the international community and the UK government... to not be providing these basic services to people."

Obstetric consultant Brenda Kelly, who has trained medics in Gaza, held a banner containing the names of health workers killed in the conflict.

She said during her time in Gaza she had been met with "such humanity, hospitality, and courage".

Dr Gardner, who grew up in Northern Ireland, added: "Conflict begets conflict, violence begets violence... we will never get peace unless people get round a table."

Protesters in Oxford
Protesters demanded an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war

On Wednesday Oxford West and Abingdon's Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran revealed she had lost a family member in Gaza.

Meanwhile, 10 Labour councillors have resigned from the party in Oxford over Sir Keir Starmer's stance on the conflict.

A vote took place in parliament urging all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

It was defeated by 125 votes to 294, with 56 Labour rebels joining other opposition parties to demand a ceasefire.

At least 1,200 Israelis were killed in attacks by Hamas on 7 October, when gunmen infiltrated communities near the Gaza Strip. More than 200 hostages were snatched at gunpoint.

In retaliation Israel launched a war against Hamas - proscribed as a terrorist organisation by many Western governments, including the UK.

Since then, more than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza - 4,500 of them children - according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

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