Tears were shed as residents gathered outside a famous city landmark today to mark the death of at least 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

A vigil held by the Oxford and District National Union of Journalists at the Radcliffe Camera highlighted how 116 journalists had been killed.

Group secretary Anna Wagstaff said: "Around one in 10 journalists have been killed which tells us they are being targeted.

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"We are here to show our respect and solidarity for the journalists who are continuing to report.

"The number of deaths is very disproportionate as it is at least 10 times as many."

A testimony was given at the Oxford vigil by a tearful Palestinian as part of the related action by doctors, teachers and health care workers.

She said: "Over 100 members of my family have been killed.

"Most of them were bombed as they slept.

Oxford Mail: “Ninety-seven named academic colleagues are known to have been killed, many sheltering at home with their families, killed by US-manufactured bombs dropped from jets manufactured in part by UK companies.“Ninety-seven named academic colleagues are known to have been killed, many sheltering at home with their families, killed by US-manufactured bombs dropped from jets manufactured in part by UK companies. (Image: Rebecca Inglis)

Oxford Mail: Speaker outside the Radcliffe Camera.Speaker outside the Radcliffe Camera. (Image: Rebecca Inglis)

"My mother's cousin was killed on October 19 at 26 years old.

"He had gone to pray in the mosque when shortly after the body pieces were found.

"We did not find him.

"He evaporated in the air and we breathed him in."

There was also a collection of poems written by Palestinians read out.

Rebecca Inglis, an Oxford doctor who has been visiting Gaza since 2015 to teach medical students and junior doctors, read out messages in a speech from "some of the people working on the ground".

Oxford Mail: NUJ members stood outside the Radcliffe Camera.NUJ members stood outside the Radcliffe Camera. (Image: Oxford and District NUJ)

A message from a nurse called Randa, whose surname was not disclosed, read: "My hope is to die with all my children and not leave them and them not leave me.

"I cannot live without them and I do not want to die and leave them here alone in this unjust world."

Simultaneous vigils were held by health workers, outside the Warneford Hospital and by Oxford Brookes lecturers outside the John Henry Brookes Building.

Dr Teige Matthews-Palmer, committee officer of the University of Oxford UCU, said: “Education is an important pillar of Palestinian culture with a high number of PhD educated citizens.

Oxford Mail: Oxford UCU.Oxford UCU. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

"As academics and workers at the University of Oxford, we have been appalled to see the deliberate destruction of all of Gaza’s universities, including its brand new and only university hospital at Al-Israa."

Shaun Doherty, committee member of the Oxfordshire National Education Union, added: "Oxfordshire NEU will be attending the vigil in solidarity with over 625,000 students and 22,564 teachers who have been deprived of education and safety for 120 days now, facing a genocidal attack on their lives and the bombing and shelling of 378 schools.

"All children have the right to learn but before they can learn they have to exercise their right to live."

When questioned by Reuters on the apparent targeting, Israel Defence Forces international spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht said: “We don’t target journalists.”

Israel’s UN envoy, Gilad Erdan, added: “Obviously, we would never want to hit or shoot any journalist that is doing their job.

"But you know, we’re in a state of war, things might happen.”