Around one hundred pro-Palestinian students and members of the public gathered in the rain earlier today, holding a vigil for Gazan victims.

Arab and Palestinian speakers shared poetry and prayers on Parker's Piece, while holding umbrellas and Palestinian flags.

Eric Williams

Attendees talked emotionally about the fate of family members and friends in Gaza, accusing the UK government and Israel of being complicit in “genocide”.

The demonstration comes following last night’s Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital explosion, which killed almost five hundred Palestinian people.

Palestinian officials and several Arab states have blamed the blast on an Israeli airstrike, while US President Joe Biden has backed Israel’s denial of any involvement in the explosion.

One attendee told the assembled crowd: “We will call it what it is - this is a genocide.”

A Palestinian student said: “Gaza is not the most beautiful city. Gaza is not the richest city. But she is equal to the history of an entire nation.”

Eric Williams

Israel has launched a retaliatory airstrike campaign since the recent attacks by Hamas, a Palestinian organisation of Islamist militants, killed 1,400 people in Israel.

According to the UN, more than 3,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza since Hamas’s assault.

Hamas is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, the EU, and the UK, as well as other powers.

Felix Armstrong

Attendees held their phone flashlights aloft to pay tribute to Gazan lives lost.

One Palestinian speaker described the destruction of his family’s homes and the death of his friend in Gaza: “My heart is scratched forever. Where is the government? Where is the international community? All I see is that no one cares.”

Eric Williams

Another speaker criticised Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other British politicians, saying: “This happened because our politicians gave Israel unconditional support. It’s a long journey that we have to start, but I promise you all, we will be seeing the Prime Minister at the international criminal court.”

Last weekend, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) notified Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of their intention to prosecute UK government officials for “complicity in war crimes in Gaza.”

The vigil was organised by Cambridge’s Palestine Solidarity Society ( Palsoc) and Cambridge Stop the War Coalition, in coordination with another gathering of mourners outside Downing Street this evening.