A British politician calling for a cease-fire in Gaza gets heckled by pro-Palestinian protesters

LONDON (AP) — A British politician who was making a speech calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip was interrupted Saturday by pro-Palestinian protesters.

David Lammy, a member of Parliament from the center-left opposition Labour party, was briefly rushed backstage when a woman began shouting and walked up to the microphone where he had been standing and unfurled a Palestinian flag.

“When will you condemn the genocide? How many more children need to die?” demonstrators shouted.

After protesters were escorted away, Lammy was heckled by others from the audience as he resumed his speech.

“We all want to see a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza," he said. “I want change through power, not through protest.”

The Labour party, which is out of government but widely expected to return to power in an election later this year, has been divided over the war.

Its leader, Keir Starmer, was criticized for refusing to call for a cease-fire early in the conflict and called for humanitarian pauses instead. He has called for a sustainable cease-fire more recently.

The Free Palestine Coalition said its activists had infiltrated the foreign policy conference put on by the Fabian Society, a socialist organization, at London’s Guildhall.

“It is difficult to see how Lammy is upholding any commitment to human rights or international law as we enter into the 106th day of Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza,” the group said.

Israel launched its war against Hamas after the militant group’s unprecedented Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in Israel and saw about 250 others taken hostage. Health authorities in Hamas-ruled Gaza say Israel’s offensive has killed nearly 25,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children.