Worcester protest against "massacre" of Palestinians in Gaza

2814655201. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Left to right - protesters Khudija Tauseff and Fatima Baig. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390258)

2814655202. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Looking down on the protest from above. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390260)

2814655203. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390262)

2814655204. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390264)

2814655205. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390268)

2814655206. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390270)

2814655207. 18/07/14. A protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza took place outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Picture by Nick Toogood. (8390272)

First published in News

HUNDREDS of people held banners at a protest in Worcester to show their outrage at ongoing violence in Gaza which has left civilians including young children dead in what some have described as a "massacre".

People carried banners saying "this is murder not war", "free Gaza", "one Holocaust does not justify another" and "anti-Zionist not anti-Jew" during the demonstration outside Worcester Guildhall on Friday. Worcester MP Robin Walker attended to talk to protestors and hear their views and told them he would raise their concerns in Parliament.

The peaceful protest, attended by 200 people, was organised by Qammar Yaqub, aged 28, of Worcester city centre and his sister Asia Khatun but he said people from all backgrounds and walks of life showed their support. The names of those killed so far in the most recent outbreak of violence were read out at the vigil. Mr Yaqub said: "We want to make people aware and make a stand. Our Government isn't doing enough about it. It's a massacre. Enough is enough."

Over 500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began two weeks ago, Gaza's health ministry says. Twenty Israelis - 18 of them soldiers - have died. Israeli leaders say they are attempting to end rocket fire on their country by Hamas and a accuse the group of using their own people as a human shield. But Palestinians have condemned the high civilian death toll of this latest military action.

Colin Archer, co-ordinator of the Worcester Palestine Friendship who also attended the protest said Palestinians had nowhere to go despite warnings from Israel in advance of artillery fire and air strikes. He also said Palestinians had no sophisticated system of defence like that employed by Israel.

Mr Archer of Malvern Road, Worcester, who visited Jerusalem and Palestine for 10 days in May said: "People are incredibly anxious about what is happening. It is not until the underlying problem gets sorted out that we're going to be out of this situation - that is the fact that Palestinians are treated as second class citizens. Gaza is besieged and people can't get out. Of course Israel has a right to defend itself but not in the way it behaves. It's horrific."

Mr Archer has met the cousin of a Palestinian boy Mohamed Abu Khdeir who was burned alive in a suspected revenge killing by Israelis following the murder of three Israeli teenagers which has once again ignited tensions in the trouble spot. Mr Archer and others from the group welcomed 16 Palestinian children to Worcester last August, including one boy who claimed to have been seized by troops, blindfolded and beaten. Mr Archer urged people in the city to give support to Palestinians including charities like Medical Aid for Palestinians to help provide support to hospitals overwhelmed by the number of casualties.

Comments (7)

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7:03pm Mon 21 Jul 14

CarlWPF says...

Congratulations to the organisers. Having spoken to them on the day I know that they had no idea what the turnout would be. But the issue is one that increasing numbers of people feel passionate about and in which interest is growing. As people start to look behind the headlines (or tune into Channel 4's news coverage rather than rely on the BBC) ordinary men and women of all faiths and of none are thankfully starting to question official narratives.

Having friends in Gaza (I also have friends in Israel) I know how touched they have been by the pictures we have been able to send them of Friday's vigil in Worcester. Qammar Yaqub and Asia Khatun may not have succeed in ending the violence, but they have shown the people of Gaza (and particularly the children) that they are not alone and just like in London on Saturday, people of different faiths and of none and across the age spectrum came together in Worcester on Friday in the cause of humanity to express support for them.

The only question that remains now, is how long will it be before the before the first comment appears beneath this article to dehumanise Gaza's children, children whom our Bishop met when in Gaza last year and who he described on his return. They spoke to him about their dreams and the jobs they aspired to. In his words:

"one wanted to be a doctor, another, a teacher, another a lawyer - the ambition of all of them was to do something to help their fellow human beings in some way or other. They dreamed of a Gaza in which Kingdom values of love, compassion, justice and freedom prevailed - and they wanted so much to contribute to bringing it about."

Can we all at least agree that they should have the right to achieve those goals? That is essentially what last Friday was all about.
Congratulations to the organisers. Having spoken to them on the day I know that they had no idea what the turnout would be. But the issue is one that increasing numbers of people feel passionate about and in which interest is growing. As people start to look behind the headlines (or tune into Channel 4's news coverage rather than rely on the BBC) ordinary men and women of all faiths and of none are thankfully starting to question official narratives. Having friends in Gaza (I also have friends in Israel) I know how touched they have been by the pictures we have been able to send them of Friday's vigil in Worcester. Qammar Yaqub and Asia Khatun may not have succeed in ending the violence, but they have shown the people of Gaza (and particularly the children) that they are not alone and just like in London on Saturday, people of different faiths and of none and across the age spectrum came together in Worcester on Friday in the cause of humanity to express support for them. The only question that remains now, is how long will it be before the before the first comment appears beneath this article to dehumanise Gaza's children, children whom our Bishop met when in Gaza last year and who he described on his return. They spoke to him about their dreams and the jobs they aspired to. In his words: "one wanted to be a doctor, another, a teacher, another a lawyer - the ambition of all of them was to do something to help their fellow human beings in some way or other. They dreamed of a Gaza in which Kingdom values of love, compassion, justice and freedom prevailed - and they wanted so much to contribute to bringing it about." Can we all at least agree that they should have the right to achieve those goals? That is essentially what last Friday was all about. CarlWPF
  • Score: 41

3:41am Tue 22 Jul 14

TMSO-worcester says...

May peace be with them and the whole of humanity on a global scale. Soon! NOW!
May peace be with them and the whole of humanity on a global scale. Soon! NOW! TMSO-worcester
  • Score: 12

8:19pm Tue 22 Jul 14

hursthill says...

Israel has the absolute moral & legal right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas.

Hamas as fired 2,000 + rockets at Israeli civilians. It uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect it's rockets. This is a double war crime.

Israel has no territorial claim on Gaza. It is Hamas , in accordance with it's constitution that wants to eradicate Israel, & impose it's racist ideology, executing gays, banning trade unions & persecuting women, in order to comply with their strict Islamic code.

Worcester must show solidarity with the Israeli people.
Israel has the absolute moral & legal right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas. Hamas as fired 2,000 + rockets at Israeli civilians. It uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect it's rockets. This is a double war crime. Israel has no territorial claim on Gaza. It is Hamas , in accordance with it's constitution that wants to eradicate Israel, & impose it's racist ideology, executing gays, banning trade unions & persecuting women, in order to comply with their strict Islamic code. Worcester must show solidarity with the Israeli people. hursthill
  • Score: -6

8:37pm Tue 22 Jul 14

arshad hussain says...

Morally Israel by way of using beyond excessive force is wrong, legally it is wrong beyond comprehension, not only is it in violation of 70-80 united nation security council resolutions it is illegally occupying Palestinian land and land belonging to Palestinians gifted to them solely on the arbitaration of European imperialists who had a guilty conscience and handed them land that did not belong to them. Hamas has every right to defend themselves against illegal occupation and imprisonment in the worlds biggest concentration camp, yet still despite their pathetic home made rockets which barely scratch Israel they are mercilessly bombarded with grossly disproportionate force from high tech weaponry supplied by the United States and western powers and you have the audacity to criticise these wretched people, shame on you....we will all be answerable whether it's this life or the next
Morally Israel by way of using beyond excessive force is wrong, legally it is wrong beyond comprehension, not only is it in violation of 70-80 united nation security council resolutions it is illegally occupying Palestinian land and land belonging to Palestinians gifted to them solely on the arbitaration of European imperialists who had a guilty conscience and handed them land that did not belong to them. Hamas has every right to defend themselves against illegal occupation and imprisonment in the worlds biggest concentration camp, yet still despite their pathetic home made rockets which barely scratch Israel they are mercilessly bombarded with grossly disproportionate force from high tech weaponry supplied by the United States and western powers and you have the audacity to criticise these wretched people, shame on you....we will all be answerable whether it's this life or the next arshad hussain
  • Score: 8

10:02pm Tue 22 Jul 14

DesiJatt123 says...

hursthill wrote:
Israel has the absolute moral & legal right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas.

Hamas as fired 2,000 + rockets at Israeli civilians. It uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect it's rockets. This is a double war crime.

Israel has no territorial claim on Gaza. It is Hamas , in accordance with it's constitution that wants to eradicate Israel, & impose it's racist ideology, executing gays, banning trade unions & persecuting women, in order to comply with their strict Islamic code.

Worcester must show solidarity with the Israeli people.
Can you please do some research before voicing you're opinion, yes hamas has launched rockets in to israel but you're forgetting that israel has launched more rockets into palestine than palestine has into israel, and most of the hamas rockets that get launched into israel get intercepted by their defence system where as the israeli rockets kill innocent people and please can you tell me why since the latest unrest has started 2 weeks ago more then 600 innocent palestinians have been killed compared to about 30 israeli soldiers??
[quote][p][bold]hursthill[/bold] wrote: Israel has the absolute moral & legal right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas. Hamas as fired 2,000 + rockets at Israeli civilians. It uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to protect it's rockets. This is a double war crime. Israel has no territorial claim on Gaza. It is Hamas , in accordance with it's constitution that wants to eradicate Israel, & impose it's racist ideology, executing gays, banning trade unions & persecuting women, in order to comply with their strict Islamic code. Worcester must show solidarity with the Israeli people.[/p][/quote]Can you please do some research before voicing you're opinion, yes hamas has launched rockets in to israel but you're forgetting that israel has launched more rockets into palestine than palestine has into israel, and most of the hamas rockets that get launched into israel get intercepted by their defence system where as the israeli rockets kill innocent people and please can you tell me why since the latest unrest has started 2 weeks ago more then 600 innocent palestinians have been killed compared to about 30 israeli soldiers?? DesiJatt123
  • Score: 5

4:19pm Sat 26 Jul 14

hursthill says...

Israel will not apologise for inventing Iron Dome, which has saved 1,000's of lives.

Meanwhile Hamas has conned us by using our aid money for peaceful purposes to purchase advanced Syrian rockets to fie at Israel civilians, & use aid money meant for construction of houses to build tunnels, so they can launch surprise attacks on Israeli villages .

Israel must finish the job of destroying all Hamas rockets & tunnels, so peace can return.
Israel will not apologise for inventing Iron Dome, which has saved 1,000's of lives. Meanwhile Hamas has conned us by using our aid money for peaceful purposes to purchase advanced Syrian rockets to fie at Israel civilians, & use aid money meant for construction of houses to build tunnels, so they can launch surprise attacks on Israeli villages . Israel must finish the job of destroying all Hamas rockets & tunnels, so peace can return. hursthill
  • Score: 1

4:38pm Sat 26 Jul 14

The Boy says...

Israel's 'job' entails the indiscriminate killing of innocent people - not 'Hamas militants' - whilst stealing more land. It is its stated policy to heavily attack civilian areas. If Hamas had such a policy, let alone the means to carry it out, you and I would at least agree on one thing. But, as it is, Israel - despite the ridiculous scale of its firepower and crimes - is seen as 'the good guys'. Both Israel and Hamas should be condemned, yet Israel continues to receive our government's support. One wonders how many photos of decapitated Palestinian children would be required for that support to be withdrawn.
Israel's 'job' entails the indiscriminate killing of innocent people - not 'Hamas militants' - whilst stealing more land. It is its stated policy to heavily attack civilian areas. If Hamas had such a policy, let alone the means to carry it out, you and I would at least agree on one thing. But, as it is, Israel - despite the ridiculous scale of its firepower and crimes - is seen as 'the good guys'. Both Israel and Hamas should be condemned, yet Israel continues to receive our government's support. One wonders how many photos of decapitated Palestinian children would be required for that support to be withdrawn. The Boy
  • Score: 0

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