Hundreds gather in Sheffield to show support with Palestine

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Hundreds of people gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall this afternoon to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine after 58 civilians were killed when Israeli troops opened fire during protests.

Students from both of the city's universities, Labour party members, Green Party politicians were at the event, which was held as part of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

It was organised after the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since a war in 2014.

Julie Pearn, chairperson of Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine, said: "We are here in solidarity with all the Palestinians of Sheffield and we want to denounce the atrocities which have taken place, denounce the murders that have been carried out by Israeli troops.

"I think the turnout just shows that Sheffield has a real heart and there was a tremendous range of people here from both universities, old long term campaigners, new campaigners and people from so many ethnic backgrounds.

"It just demonstrates that Sheffield is a city of sanctuary and shows it has a heart."

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

Israel has faced international condemnation over the deaths, from the UN, UK, France, Russia and others but the country defended its actions, and the US has voiced its support.

Monday's violence came as the US inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial step by the Trump administration that broke with decades of US policy and incensed Palestinians.

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Many see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its indivisible capital.

Cllr Mohammad Maroof, of the Nether Edge and Sharrow ward, said: "This isn't just the Middle East's problem. These are places where terrorism is generated - when young people see these injustices and atrocities taking place and their family members being butchered in front of their eyes, picking up a gun is the only solution they see to make their voice heard.

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

Protest to show solidarity with people of Palestine outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

"It's our responsibility to look after our fellow citizens across the world."

Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said the deaths were a 'human tragedy' and said she was 'confident' that the Sheffield protest was the biggest outside of London.