London, Cape Town rallies against Israel’s Gaza campaign draw tens of thousands


(JTA) — Tens of thousands of protesters in both London and Cape Town slammed Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip.

In England, demonstrators in central London marched though the West End shopping area and on to Hyde Park for a rally on Saturday.

It was the third major demonstration on behalf of Gaza in London in the last month. Organizers said 150,000 people participated in the rally, though police declined to give exact figures.

British politicians against the operation also participated in the demonstrations.

Also Saturday, a similar rally in Cape Town in South Africa reportedly drew between 30,000 and 50,000, including the grandson of the late Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela.

Demonstators carried signs with phrases such as “Israel is an apartheid state” and “Stop Israeli murder.” They marched through the center of the city to the national parliament.

A group of Jews also marched with the protesters, carrying signs reading “Jewish not Zionist.”

South African lawmaker Mandla Mandela joined the demonstration, promising he would take the crowd’s demands to Parliament.

“Our freedom is not complete without the freedom of Palestinians,” he said, quoting his grandfather.

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