Huge crowd gathers outside Israeli embassy in central London

Sections of the Israeli embassy in west London seem to have been barricaded during a pro-Palestine protest outside the premises. On Monday afternoon, hundreds assembled in Kensington, echoing chants like “Israel is a terrorist state,” “Free Palestine,” and “Allahu akhbar.”

Amid the demonstration, sizeable contingents of police officers observed as demonstrators waved placards demanding an end to Israel’s occupation.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the groups behind the demonstration, said in a statement: “The offensive launched from Gaza can only be understood in the context of Israel’s ongoing, decades-long, military occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land and imposition of a system of oppression that meets the legal definition of apartheid.

“This is the context in which we need to understand the cycle of violence. If violence is to end, both that of the oppressor and the oppressed, then we must all take action to end the root cause – Israeli apartheid and oppression of Palestinians.”

Supporters of the Israeli community were unable to reach the embassy.

READ MORE: EU halts Palestinian funding following Hamas attack

A teenager was arrested after he spat on a police officer, police said.

Earlier today, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the UK will “continue to support Israel” after Tel Aviv announced a “complete siege” on the Gaza strip following Hamas’ attack.

Speaking after an emergency Cobra meeting chaired by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss the situation in Israel, Mr Cleverly said Hamas fighters were “shielding themselves among the Palestinian people”.

It comes after Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant said he had ordered a siege on Gaza that would halt the supply of electricity, food and fuel to 2.3 million people living in the Hamas-ruled territory, while Israel’s forces pound the strip with retaliatory waves of airstrikes.

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Ahead of Monday’s Cobra meeting, Downing Street had said it supported Tel Aviv responding with “proportionate action” to the Palestinian militants’ bloody weekend incursion.

Mr Cleverly, asked by broadcasters in Westminster whether Israel’s siege on the Gaza strip met that definition, said: “Israel has a right to defend itself against attack.

“The UK completely supports Israel’s right to defend itself proportionately.

“The truth of the matter is that this was a terrorist attack, perpetrated by Hamas, who are embedded in Gaza, shielding themselves among the Palestinian people in Gaza.

“And we will continue to support Israel as it seeks to defend itself against this brutal terrorist attack initiated by Hamas.”

The Foreign Secretary said, in light of the surprise offensive orchestrated by Hamas, the UK was “reviewing” its support for Israel.

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