Portsmouth vigil honours 60 protestors killed in Gaza

CAMPAIGNERS have staged a vigil to remember the lives of 60 protestors who were killed in Gaza.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:33 am
Campaigners at the Guildhall Square vigil. Credit: Penny Foskett

More than 25 people gathered in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, last night to mourn Palestinian demonstrators who were killed by Israeli forces in a major protest on Monday.

The events, close to the border, led to 2,200 people being injured by gunfire or gas, as 40,000 turned out to support the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.

It marked the 70th anniversary of Nakba, which saw 75 per cent of the Palestinian population expelled or flee from their homes to create the state of Israel.

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In Portsmouth, this week’s violence was marked by Sara Benali, a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign – who read aloud the names and ages of all those killed.

Crowds in the city centre heard the youngest, Laila Anwar al-Ghandour, was just eight-years-old and lost her life after inhaling tear gas.

Another campaigner, Penny Foskett, highlighted the role US president Donald Trump ‘played’ in protests, by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Activist Angus Geddes, a long-standing backer of the Portsmouth and South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘It was a very solemn occasion, but we wanted to make the same point and message all those demonstrators were giving.

‘This ethnic cleansing must not be allowed to stand.’

Those who attended the vigil in support of ‘peace and justice’ in Palestine were urged to support the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), by Simon Magorian – from Unite Against Fascism in Portsmouth.

BDS is a non-violent response to Israel’s occupation and violence, where individuals, trade unions and community groups around the world boycott Israeli goods and cultural events which support the Israeli state.

Tomorrow, a Palestine Solidarity Campaign talk led by activist Zuber Hatia will take place at the Discovery Centre in Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth from 2pm-4pm.