Hundreds attend rally calling for Gaza ceasefire

Rally in Oxford 1.11.23
Protesters held cards with the names of people killed in the conflict

Hundreds of people have attended a rally calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Protesters marched through Oxford and were addressed by interfaith speakers in the city centre.

Some held placards with the words "Freedom for Palestine" while other hand-held cards bore the names of people who are said to have been killed in recent action by Israeli forces.

The University of Oxford's Israeli Society said Jewish students had experienced "unacceptable" hostility.

Ayesha Abbasi
Ayesha Abbasi from Help The World Oxford said the protests would continue

Israeli forces have carried out retaliatory strikes in Gaza after Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,400 people in Israel on 7 October.

Ayesha Abbasi, from Help The World Oxford, which was one of the rally's organisers, said the protestors were "appalled and heartbroken" by the violence in Gaza.

She said: "We want an end to this illegal occupation and we just want peace and hope for all.

"We're angry and we're not going to stop, even if we have to come here every week."

Jojo Sugarman
Jojo Sugarman from Oxford Israeli Society said he had never felt such fear before in the UK

Prof Nick Maynard, who has volunteered as a hospital surgeon in Gaza and attended the rally, said the turnout showed "how strong the feelings are in Oxford that this humanitarian catastrophe has got to be addressed".

In 2019, Oxford City Council signed a twinning agreement with Ramallah, the Palestinians' administrative capital in the occupied West Bank.

Jojo Sugarman from Oxford Israeli Society told the BBC that fellow students were afraid to attend university meals.

He said: "We've had so many comments of Free Palestine which is absolutely unacceptable because people doing that are just doing that because we're Jewish.

"I've never felt this kind of fear in this country."

Follow BBC South on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to