Pro-Palestinian protests take place in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast and Salford

Thousands of people have taken part in a pro-Palestinian protest in London for the second consecutive weekend.

The Met Police estimated up to 100,000 people had joined the march, which ended in a rally near Downing Street.

Smaller demonstrations also took place on Saturday in Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Salford.

It comes as aid deliveries reached Gaza for the first time since Israel imposed a blockade following a Hamas attack which killed 1,400 people in Israel.

Palestinian officials say more than 4,000 people have since been killed in Israeli bombing.

The Met Police said more than 1,000 officers were involved in policing the London event.

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A total of 10 arrests were made linked to the protests in London for offences involving fireworks, public order and assaulting an emergency service worker, the force said.

A protest also took place in Birmingham on Saturday
In Cardiff, around 1,000 protesters waving Palestinian flags and supportive placards took part in a march towards the Welsh Parliament.

The demonstration was organised by several groups who are calling on the British and Welsh governments to insist on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for “full humanitarian aid” to be sent in.

Maggie Morgan, from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Cardiff, said: “We are taking to the streets as a show of solidarity to the people of Gaza, to show our support for them, but also to make the government listen, and say ‘not in our name, we’re not having this.'”

Demonstrators gathered outside the BBC’s headquarters in Belfast on Saturday
Israel cut off supplies of fuel, electricity and water to Gaza after Hamas’s military wing broke through the border into Israel on 7 October, killing people and taking more than 200 hostages.

Since then, Israel has launched waves of aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip, targeting what it says are structures linked to Hamas. Hamas says the strikes have left thousands of civilians dead.

The strikes have displaced around 1.4 million Gazans, with more than half a million people in 147 UN shelters, the UN says.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for the Israeli military said it would “deepen” and “increase” the strikes, to allow Israel to “minimise the risks to our forces in the next stages of the war”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said there should be increased humanitarian access to Gaza.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Sunak – who this week visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt – said the UK supported Israel’s right to defend itself against a “murderous enemy” but the area faced an “acute humanitarian crisis”.

He said people in Gaza were suffering and he wanted to see a “stream of trucks” passing through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and the restoration of water supplies to Gaza “where physically possible”.

Earlier on Saturday, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly warned the conflict is threatening to engulf the Middle East.

Mr Cleverly has visited Israel, Turkey and Qatar as part of diplomatic efforts around the worsening crisis in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Speaking at the Cairo Peace Summit, he said: “This has been an issue which has long stimulated passions and we are now all seeing on social media and in our communities how divisive and polarising the current situation has become.

“So we have a duty to work together to prevent instability from engulfing the region and claiming yet more lives.”

Protesters on the London march were heard chanting a slogan that some use to call for Palestinian control of all land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including Israel.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, calls for the destruction of Israel.

She has previously urged police chief constables to “consider… whether its use in certain context may amount to a racially aggravated” offence, although the Met has said the chant alone does not constitute a criminal act.

In Belfast, protesters held a demonstration outside BBC Northern Ireland headquarters.

People Before Profit assembly member Gerry Carroll said they aimed to “challenge” how the BBC had covered the conflict in the Middle East.

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation had provided audiences around the world with coverage and first-hand testimony “of the atrocities committed by Hamas, and the suffering in Gaza”.

“We have made clear the devastating human cost to civilians living in Israel and Gaza, and the unprecedented nature of what has happened,” the spokesperson added.

The demonstration in Salford was held outside the Media City complex, where the BBC has its offices – with protesters there also criticising the corporation for its reporting of the conflict.