A vigil remembering the deaths of more than 500 Palestinian children during a 50-day conflict with Israel will take place in Whitehall tomorrow evening.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) members will hold a minute’s silence followed by a reading of the names of the children at Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
PSC National Executive Committee member and Richmond and Kingston branch chairman, Ben Jamal, said that the vigil will commemorate all those whose lives have been lost.
He said: “This is part of a continuing process of Israel’s illegitimate control over the lives of the Palestinians through occupation in the West Bank.”
Among the group’s supporters are the Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP), an organisation that opposes Israel’s policies on the occupation in Gaza.
Jews for Justice for Palestinians executive member Deborah Maccoby said: “It’s a way of commemorating Israel’s most savage and brutal assault on Gaza.”
“I couldn’t have imagined anything could have been worse, but it has.”
The organisation was set up as result of the Israel solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square in 2002 which saw 30,000 Jewish supporters attended.
JFJFP was set up soon after to demonstrate that there are members of the Jewish community who don’t agree with Israel’s policies.
Ms Maccoby said: “We want to give a voice to all those who are against Israel’s policies and to encourage those who are afraid of speaking out.
“Part of the reasons why we exist is to counteract accusations that the PSC and other groups that we support are anti-semitic.”
According to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNWRA) only 5% of the funds needed to repair and reconstruct homes after Operation Protective Edge had been pledged.
“Ending the blockade on Gaza is the only way to move forward if we are going to find peace,” said Mr Jamal.
“David Cameron described Gaza as an ‘open aired prison’, but they’ve not taken any effective action to put pressure on Israel to end the blockade – that is a problem.
“We have an increasing humanitarian crisis, Gaza’s been deprived of any development opportunities.”
Patrons supporting the PSC organisation include Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbin and the late Edward Said.
The conflict started July 8 last year and ended on August 27 with an open-ended cease fire agreed between Israel and Palestine in Cairo on August 26.
For more information about the vigil visit http://www.palestinecampaign.org/vigil-for-gaza-one-year-on/