Wrapped in blood-stained white funeral shrouds, they are a sobering reminder to the world of Gaza’s most innocent victims.
Cradling the effigies in their arms – symbols of Palestine’s dead children – dozens of pro-Palestinian protestors wept yesterday as they marched through central London for a third consecutive weekend to demand an end to Israel’s brutal bombardment.
As an emblem of the bloodshed on both sides of this conflict, it was a powerful one.
Around 3,000 children are estimated to have been killed by Israel since the attacks, retaliation for Hamas’s brutal massacre, were launched on October 7, according to Palestine’s UN envoy.
More than 30 Israeli children have also lost their lives, with dozens more in captivity, amid horrific claims that Hamas terrorists beheaded or burned dozens of babies at a kibbutz.
Protesters display a laarge Palestinian flag as they walk over Westminster Bridge with the Palace of Westminster
Around 3,000 children are estimated to have been killed by Israel since the attacks, retaliation for Hamas ‘s brutal massacre. Pictured, a protester with a baby doll doused in fake blood
On the streets of London yesterday it was pro-Palestinian protestors who called for ‘justice, now’ for the killings, and an immediate ceasefire in hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
Demonstrators among the 100,000-strong crowd placed the sombre effigies on a large Palestinian flag, leading chants for ‘justice’ while brandishing flags and placards.
One young woman was seen carrying a small makeshift coffin containing a bloodied doll, while others held dolls dressed in babygrows, daubed in red paint and mounted on sticks.
A white babygrow, mounted on a placard and stained with red, bore the scribbled slogan: ‘My only mistake is being born in Gaza.’
More than 1,000 Metropolitan Police officers were on duty for the march from Victoria Embankment to Parliament Square.
Last night police confirmed they were investigating alleged reports of an ‘anti-Jewish hate crime’ after a female protestor, holding a heavily-bloodied doll, took to a megaphone to lead chants referring to a massacre of Jews by a Muslim army during the seventh-century Battle of Khaybar.
Others held dolls dressed in babygrows, daubed in red paint and mounted on sticks
British Transport Police officers are surrounded by hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters outside Embankment station
A man was arrested on Whitehall after an officer was ‘struck in the head with an object’ – witnesses claim the weapon was a megaphone
Footage of the incident was uploaded to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, which revealed several other female protestors joined in, clapping and dancing, before a young man stepped in to take the megaphone away.
The Met Police, which was alerted to the video, said it had deployed officers to the scene shortly after it was posted online, but that those involved had left the area.
It has since posted an appeal for further information about two women shown in the footage after warning it would be vigilant in cracking down on any offences, saing there is ‘absolutely no place in London for hate crime’.
It added that officers would ‘respond to any criminality where they see it and take decisive action’ as well as ‘reviewing CCTV, images and video shared by the public to identify offences’.
Elsewhere, violent clashes erupted between protestors and the police, leading to two arrests.
Scotland Yard said a man was arrested on Whitehall after a police officer was assaulted and later required hospital treatment.
Another man was arrested in Waterloo Road on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence and making threats to kill.
Protesters also vandalised the Grade II-listed statue of First World War commander Field Marshal Douglas Haig with red paint, graffitiing it with the words ‘God Save Gaza’.
More than 100,000 people turned out onto the streets of London on Saturday
Protesters also vandalised the Grade II-listed statue of First World War commander Field Marshal Douglas Haig with red paint
A woman was knocked over by a police horse after the animal was startled by fireworks, and demonstrators were seen letting off flares and clambering on a statue of Lloyd George in Parliament Square.
More than 200 people staged a sit-in on the concourse of London Waterloo station, chanting ‘ceasefire now’.
There was also concern over the distribution of a Socialist Workers pamphlet praising Hamas which was being freely handed out along the protest route.
It is a terror offence to invite support for Hamas, and Tory MP Nigel Mills last night called the distribution of the material ‘very disturbing’ and called for police to intervene.
A spokesman for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘Today saw yet another day of mass criminality on London’s streets. Law-abiding Londoners, including London’s Jews, expect our police to enforce Britain’s laws and keep us safe.
‘Londoners cannot and will not tolerate a situation in which every weekend the streets become an exhibition of such extremism.
The Met is creating the conditions in which not only London’s Jews but all Londoners could be placed in serious danger.’
Pro-Palestinian rallies took place in other UK cities, including Manchester and Glasgow – and up to 5,000 people were expected to attend a rally in Bristol city centre last night (SAT).