Tens of Thousands Protest Gaza Bombing in London and Cape Town

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AP - Tens of thousands of people have turned out in central London to protest the bombing of Gaza.

Large crowds of protesters marched through the British capital's busy West End shopping area on Saturday, passing the U.S. Embassy before descending on Hyde Park for a rally.

Many waved placards and the Palestinian flag, chanting "Free, Free Palestine!"

Saturday's rally came as Britain's Disasters Emergency Committee said its appeal for donations to help people affected by the conflict in Gaza has raised more than 4.5 million pounds ($7.5 million) in under 24 hours.

Israeli airstrikes and militant rocket fire continued Saturday after a three-day cease-fire ended Friday.

Thousands of people marched through central Cape Town on Saturday, as well, according to South Africa's IOL news.

Demonstraters reportedly gathered outside Parliament's main gate, holding flags, signs and banners with messages such as "South African government must stop selling arms to Israel," "Zuma [suffers] from historical amnesia]" and "Africans understand colonialism."

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mandla Mandela was reportedly in the crowd. 

Anti-Semitic instances in Britain have increased in frequency since the start of Operation Protective Edge, but the United Kingdom has largely avoided the vitrol seen throughout Europe.

Minister Sayeeda Warsi resigned from her position as a senior foreign office minister last week, saying she could no longer support the government's policy on the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Meanwhile, the U.K. is reviewing all arms export licences to Israel in response to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, a British government spokeswoman said last week.  

A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014Credit: AP
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Demonstrators join a march to support the people of Gaza, in central London August 9, 2014. Credit: AP
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A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014Credit: AP
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Demonstrations in Cape Town. August 9, 2014.Credit: AFP

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