Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Israel-Gaza conflict: Police step in after ‘free Palestine’ protesters approach pro-Israel march in London

Police in London were forced to intervene after a group of protesters chanting “free Palestine” approached a gathering of pro-Israel marchers on Sunday.

A large crowd of Israel supporters gathered on Kensington High Street on Sunday afternoon, close to the country’s London embassy, while waving flags and chanting.

It came after a large pro-Palestinian protest took place in central London on Saturday.

Several roads in the area were closed off and a large police presence was in place.

Among the messages displayed were “free Gaza from Hamas” and “Israel has a right to defend itself”, while some people climbed on lampposts and let off blue smoke.

Footage on social media appeared to show far-right activist Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at the march

His attendance was widely condemned by Jewish groups, such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and CST.

A small group of hooded and masked people attempted to infiltrate the area while chanting “free Palestine”, according to the Press Association (PA).

Reports say they goaded the pro-Israel protesters before they were moved on by police.

PA reported that the group then started launching objects at officers and a number of people were taken to nearby police vans.

At the end of the rally, a small number of the pro-Palestinian group could be seen heading down the high street chanting, before gathering at the nearby Israeli embassy, which had been guarded by police.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The demonstration that took place in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon has concluded without incident.

“A small group of counter-protesters also attended and were monitored by officers. They have since left the immediate area.

“There were no arrests in relation to the demonstration.”

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