Ten arrests after pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups clash in London

5 April 2024, 18:27 | Updated: 5 April 2024, 19:57

Demonstrators have gathered in protest
Demonstrators gathered in central London. Picture: LBC

By Flaminia Luck

Ten arrests have been made in total, including two for threats to kill, after more than a thousand people supporting Israel and Palestine demonstrated in central London on Friday afternoon.

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The force said the pro-Palestine Al Quds Day protest march set off from Marsham Street accompanied by officers at around 4pm.

A counter-protest supporting Israel was also held, with hundreds of police officers descending on the area to keep the groups separate.

The arrests include two for making threats to kill, one for refusing to comply with conditions under the Public Order Act, one for a homophobic public order offence, two for inciting racial hatred, three for obstruction and one for assaulting an emergency worker.

One pro-Palestine demonstrator outside Parliament told LBC: "All we are saying is, they have to stop killing people".

A protestor in support of Israel stressed the importance of remembering the hostages still being held captive by Hamas.

Police vans have lined streets in the area
Police vans have lined streets in the area. Picture: LBC

The group rallying in support of Palestine held signs with slogans such as 'End Israeli war crimes' and 'Worldwide, Jews condemn Israel's Gaza Genocide. End the Israel occupation...'

One man who spoke to LBC said the march had "nothing to do with hate".

Another said: "An oppressed people - it doesn't matter where they are in the world - they're oppressed.

"If we're not going to speak for them, then nobody else will.

"At the end of the day, all we are saying is they have to stop killing people. That's all we are saying.

"We're not saying we are supporting Hamas or whatever. All we are saying is 40,000 people have been murdered.

"For what?" he said.

The group supporting Israel held signs with slogans including 'Hamas is everybody's problem' and 'For Israel. Against antisemitism'.

"Traditionally these marches haven't been peaceful, they've been hateful, they've been anti-Semitic.

"Therefore I think there needs to be the other side of the story. We need to defend ourselves as Jews," one man said.

A woman said: "Everyone has a right to be who they are.

Read more: UK calls for independent review of Israel airstrike that killed 3 British aid workers, as IDF sacks officers for errors

"To the march, its pure anti-Semitism. If you walk along, you hear they'll be calling out for the end of Israel, the end of the Jews."

"We've been through this before, we're not going to stay quiet and have this happen to us again."

Another man said it was "really important" to not forget the hostages and campaign for their freedom.

A video shared on scoial media shows pro-Israel supporters chating "No hostages, no ceasefire".

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