The Sunday Telegraph

Pro-Palestine activist makes throat-cut gesture at Israeli group


A PRO-PALESTINIA­N activist appeared to make a cut throat gesture while pointing towards a group of Israel sympathise­rs calling for the release of all hostages held in Gaza.

The man made the gesture in full view of a police officer.

The Metropolit­an Police said a man was later arrested for a public order offence. The confrontat­ion came as pro-Palestine activists marched past a counter-protest in central London.

Pro-Israel groups and their supporters displayed a banner reading “Bring Them Home Now” and held placards stating “Hamas Are Terrorists” as the Palestine march filed past.

As the two groups faced each other across barriers keeping the two sides apart one police officer was seen speaking to a man wearing a T-shirt which suggested that he didn’t believe in the right of Israel to exist.

Tension grew as one young woman wearing a Palestinia­n scarf and armed with a megaphone led a chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” aimed at the counter protesters, many of whom waved Israeli flags.

The slogan is widely interprete­d as a call for the destructio­n of the state of Israel and has been chanted repeatedly on pro-Palestine demonstrat­ions since the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

At one stage a police woman appeared to have removed a placard reading “Israel has the right to go f--itself ” from the protest.

The confrontat­ions took place close to Bush House, the former home of the BBC World Service, as the two groups came within just a few dozen metres of each other. Scotland Yard said a total of nine people were arrested for public order offences. Commander Ade Adelekan, leading policing for the events said: “The arrests made demonstrat­e that there are consequenc­es for those whose behaviour steps outside the law.”

Earlier a small group of counter-demonstrat­ors holding the union flag had confronted the pro-Palestine marchers as they filed past them through Russell Square in Bloomsbury.

Several of the counter-protesters had arrived with cans of beer in their back pockets and were spoken to by police officers as the Palestine march set off. There have been sporadic confrontat­ions between far right football fans and Palestinia­n marchers since protests over the conflict in Gaza began last year.

Activists carrying banners and placards calling for an end to all arms sales to Israel had gathered outside the Imperial Hotel for the protest, with one section of the march walking behind a “Jewish Block for Palestine” banner.

One woman was seen holding a hand drawn placard reading: “Genocide Is Never the Solution . . As we Jews should know”. Other placards read: “Stop Arming Israel” and “Boycott Israel”. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign claimed 80,000 people attended the central London event, with thousands more taking part in protests around the country calling for Britain to stop the sales of weapons to Israel and an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict..

They included a march outside the offices of a global aerospace and defence company in Hastings. Activists picketed Tesco stores and branches of Barclays Bank in towns and cities nationwide as well as staging protest vigils in Leeds, Coventry, Leicester and Newcastle.

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