Braverman says waving Palestinian flag 'may not be legitimate' as she urges cops to crack down on Hamas support in UK

11 October 2023, 00:19 | Updated: 11 October 2023, 01:08

Suella Braverman has warned waving a Palestinian flag 'may not be legitimate'
Suella Braverman has warned waving a Palestinian flag 'may not be legitimate'. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Home Secretary has warned waving the Palestinian "may not be legitimate" after a series of pro-Palestine protests took place on the streets of the UK.

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Suella Braverman told police officers they should use the "full force of the law" to prevent harassment of the UK's Jewish community in the wake of events in Israel.

In a letter to police chiefs in England and Wales, she said: "It is not just explicit pro-Hamas symbols and chants that are cause for concern.

"I would encourage police to consider whether chants such as 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free' should be understood as an expression of a violent desire to see Israel erased from the world, and whether its use in certain contexts may amount to a racially aggravated Section 5 public order offence."

Waving the Palestinian flag 'may not be legitimate', the Home Secretary has said
Waving the Palestinian flag 'may not be legitimate', the Home Secretary has said. Picture: Getty
Pro-Palestine protesters take to the streets in the UK
Pro-Palestine protesters take to the streets in the UK. Picture: Getty

It comes after the Foreign Secretary took steps to reassure Jewish people in Britain amid mounting tension over the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, James Cleverly said any calls for violence were "completely inappropriate" and that "people in the UK deserve the right to live in peace."

James Cleverly to British Jewish communities: 'We stand with you, we will protect you.'

"That is particularly true of the Jewish community in the UK - they are targeted in response to events in the Middle East.

"We stand with you, we will protect you," he added.

Mr Cleverly indicated that a "significant number" of British-Israeli dual nationals have been caught up in the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

Read More: Israel and Palestine protesters pulled apart by police at London Underground station yards from Israeli embassy

Read More: 'This is clear cut': Israeli ambassador to UK labels Hamas 'barbaric terrorists' as she accuses group of war crimes

Both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel supporters took to the streets in west London on Monday to show support for the respective causes.

Protesters were pulled apart by police as chants of 'Free, Free Palestine!' rang out on High Street Kensington and inside the nearby Tube station, located just yards from the Israeli embassy.

Protesters march with placards and a 'Free Palestine' banner in Knightsbridge
Protesters march with placards and a 'Free Palestine' banner in Knightsbridge. Picture: Getty

The Metropolitan Police force said it was "aware of instances of suspected criminal damage in Kensington High Street", which is just yards from the Israeli embassy in London.

"Officers are on scene, intervening and gathering evidence. We are actively seeking to locate and arrest those suspected of being involved in any criminal activity," a spokesperson for the force said.

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