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Anger and grief pours out at weekly ceasefire protests

ANGER and grief poured out at the weekly ceasefire protests across Britain on Saturday after news emerged that the body of six-year-old Gazan Hind Rajab was discovered following her calls for help.

The young girl was found dead beside the wreckage of a car with the bodies of her family she was hiding in 12 days after her pleas to rescue services for help were broadcast worldwide.

Using her mobile phone she had begged for help from the Red Crescent aid organisation which dispatched an ambulance and two paramedics to find her.

The bodies of the paramedics and the bullet-riddled and mangled ambulance and car were also found on Saturday.

At demonstrations across the country, children were among speakers addressing silent vigils.

In Edinburgh children “gave the most eloquent speeches to a crowd of hundreds,” said one protester.

One child recited a poem she’d written: “Olive struggle and silent world.”

In London, Health Workers for Palestine organised a silent procession from St Thomas’s Hospital to Downing Street where tiny coffins were laid bearing the names of Palestinian children killed in the Israeli onslaught.

Samah Khan from east London said: “I am a nine-year-old girl and I know that there are loads of other nine-year-old girls in Gaza and they deserve what I have — food, water, medicine, a roof over their heads, but they don’t get that, but they deserve it.

“So my message to the Israeli government is: how would you feel? How would you feel if you were in their position?

“And my message to the Palestinians is: we are with you, we are with you all the way.”

On a march from the Manchester suburb of Rusholme to the city centre, six-year-old marcher Sara said: “The world should stop Israel killing thousands of children like me and like Hind.

“They are turning their backs on so many children and their mothers and fathers who are being bombed in their houses and on the streets and it makes me very sad.”

Other protests across Britain included almost 1,000 people staging a “Watermelon March” in Leeds demanding a ceasefire.

Watermelons became a Palestinian symbol after the six-day war in 1967 when the Israeli government criminalised the flying of the Palestinian flag in Gaza and the West Bank.

“Boycott walks” were also staged across the country, including in Margate in Kent where campaigners targeted a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant and a Tesco supermarket in protest at the two companies’ involvement in Israel.

Tesco stocks Israeli produce and McDonald’s has a franchise in Israel which has given thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers.

Donal Lennon of Thanet 4 Palestine said: “Grassroots community activism was alive and well in Margate today.

“All sections of our community came out in solidarity with Palestine on the Boycott walk.”

Boycott supporter Nemi Gardner from Margate said: “We’re so powerful — we think we’re not, but we are.

“You can vote with your money and you can make that choice every single day.

“We’re all learning, and we’re all slowly coming out of a poisoned system.

“It’s about keeping going, because we do have the power, we can make a difference, and Palestine will be free.”

In Sheffield in South Yorkshire, Palestinian women Lena Mussa and Shahar Awadallah set up an overnight camp with supporters outside Barclays Bank in the city centre on Friday and Saturday closing the branch for two days in protest at Barclays’ investment in arms firms supplying Israel.

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