Pro-Palestine rally ‘hijacked by anti-Semitic protesters’ as seven people are arrested

·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

A protest in support of the people of Palestine was marred by some anti-Semitic protesters who held placards expressing anti-Jewish hate, it has been reported.

Thousands of pro-Palestine supporters marched across London on Saturday, with people holding banners, placards and flags to show their solidarity with Palestine.

However, some protesters allegedly held placards displaying swastikas and references to Nazis.

According to the Times, a woman held a poster that read: “Israel, the new Nazi state” while another placard referred to “Holocaust Part 2”.

It comes amid a rise of anti-Semitic incidents over the past week.

Last week four people were arrested after a video appeared to show anti-Semitic language being shouted from a convoy of cars decorated with Palestinian flags in north London.

On Sunday, a community rabbi was hospitalised after he was hit over the head outside a synagogue in Chigwell, Essex.

The government’s anti-Semitism tsar, Lord Mann, told the paper: “The disgusting racist abuse against Jewish people on the streets of London requires an effective and strong response by all politicians and will be treated with contempt by all decent citizens.”

A Met Police spokesman confirmed that they had arrested seven people at the protest.

One person was arrested for racist abuse and another for homophobia.

Three of the arrests were for violent disorder.

Chief Superintendent Andy Walker said that despite arrests the protest went ahead “safely and without incident”.

He said: “We saw a significant number of people gather in central London to take part in a demonstration.

“Our policing plan was successfully implemented and I am pleased that the main event was facilitated safely and without incident.

“We reacted quickly to the decision by a small group to break away from the main protest and where offences were identified, arrests were made.

Organisers of the London event, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said it had been attended by 180,000 people.

People chanted “Free Palestine” as former shadow chancellor John McDonnell took to the stage in Hyde Park.

Mr McDonnell said: “We welcome a ceasefire. But let’s be clear, there will be no ceasefire in our campaign to boycott, disinvest and sanction the Israeli apartheid state.

"The message is clear, we will not cease our campaign in solidarity until there is justice.

"So let’s make it clear, no justice, no peace."

The rally followed after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine militant group Hamas continued to hold on Saturday after 11 days of conflict.

Since May 10, officials in Gaza said 248 Palestinians died, while the death toll in Israel stands at 13.

A Hamas official confirmed the ceasefire would take place and the truce started at 2am on Friday, May 21 (11pm GMT).

Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory in the recent conflict.

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