Thousands of people have attended a rally in London in solidarity with Palestinians and Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday.
“I met Shireen about 12 years ago in Ramallah and she was a lovely person… She was very knowledgeable,” Kamel Hawwash, chair of the Palestinian solidarity campaign, told Al Jazeera.
“So it was particularly devastating for me as a Palestinian and someone who had met her to see the unbelievably shocking footage of her killing and the callousness of the Israeli security forces when they attacked her funeral, almost dropping her coffin to the ground.”
The march comes a day before the commemoration of the Nakba (the Day of Catastrophe), the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian cities and towns by Zionist paramilitaries in 1948.
More than 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled or fled from their homeland in 1948, in the year of establishment of the state of Israel.
Abu Akleh, 51, who worked for Al Jazeera’s Arabic television channel, was hit by an Israeli bullet, according to witnesses, as she covered an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Her killing has sparked international condemnation.
People who joined the rally reflected the shock and anger over the killing of the veteran journalist.
“I would estimate the crowd at several thousand, probably in excess of 10,000 at the moment, it’s difficult to judge, I can’t actually see the end of the march here,” Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan, reporting from London, said.