Nine police officers hurt in clashes at Israel Embassy after Free Palestine protest

16 May 2021, 07:47

Free Palestine protest

By Asher McShane

Nine police officers were injured in clashes that broke out after thousands of people marched peacefully through central London in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Police said the officers were hurt when missiles were thrown when they tried to clear crowds from outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

Scotland Yard said there had been "small pockets of disorder following a day of peaceful protest."

During the day, demonstrators chanted "free, free Palestine," and held banners calling for an end to the bombing of the territory by Israeli forces.

Organisers say "immediate action" is needed by the UK Government to help end the "brutal" violence against the Palestinian people.

Read more: Israeli air strike destroys Gaza tower block HQ of international media outlets

Superintendent Jo Edwards, in charge of the policing operation, said: “We once again saw police come under fire from missiles and several were injured as a result of this.

"It is totally unacceptable and I wish those officers a speedy recovery.

“Throughout the day, officers sought to engage with people who had gathered to demonstrate, and encourage them to disperse to help protect themselves and others during this public health crisis. Where this approach did not work and officers were met with hostility, they took enforcement action.”

nine people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder in London and four people were arrested on suspicion of breaching coronavirus laws, police said.

At midday on Saturday, demonstrators arrived at Hyde Park near Marble Arch to march to the Israeli embassy, holding banners and chanting.

Thousands of protesters marched on the Israeli embassy in London
Thousands of protesters marched on the Israeli embassy in London. Picture: LBC

It comes as thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee from their homes after a week of sustained conflict.

Since Monday night, Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.

READ MORE: Israeli warplanes launch strikes in Gaza and Palestinian militants fire rockets

At least 126 people have been killed in Gaza, including 31 children and 20 women. In Israel seven people have been killed, including a six-year-old boy and a soldier.

The demonstration in London was organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop The War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: "It is vital that the UK Government takes immediate action.

"It must stop allowing Israel's brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.

"The bombardment of Gaza which is killing civilians including children is a war crime.

"The UK Government is complicit in these acts as long as it continues to offer Israel military, diplomatic and financial support."

Organisers said crowds stretched back to Bayswater Road from Kensington High Street and numbered 100,000.

The Israeli embassy issued the following statement yesterday: "Hamas is a radical terrorist organisation that fires rockets indiscriminately on civilian populations.

"Their charter calls for the establishment an Islamic state instead of Israel. It is regrettable to see citizens of a democratic country giving legitimacy to such an organisation and its violent actions.

"Unfortunately, over the last week we have seen incitement to violence and antisemitic signs and slogans chanted in demonstrations, this has forced the Israeli Embassy, in the heart or London, to need to be barricaded by the police for protection."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Two footballers suspended by their club after being accused of rape

Two Premier League footballers, 19, arrested over rape claim suspended by their club

Zoe Ball revealed her mother had died after a battle with cancer

Devastated Zoe Ball says 'sleep tight dear mama' as she announces her mother's death from cancer

Exclusive
Fayez's Mercedes taxi was smashed into

Terrified taxi driver describes moment bloody Household Cavalry horse smashed into his Mercedes van

Taiwan and US officials

China blasts ‘dangerous situation’ over US military aid to Taiwan

Live
Horses on the loose in London this morning

Live updates: Household cavalry horses on the loose in London covered in blood

Moon lander image

Japan’s moon lander survives third long freezing lunar night

Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo Subianto declared Indonesian president-elect as rivals’ appeal rejected

Five people including one of the riders were injured and all of the horses are now under control

Spooked Household Cavalry horses bolt through traffic in central London injuring five people in three locations

Fuel prices have risen in recent weeks

Petrol prices hit 150p per litre on average for first time since November, in blow for drivers

Flowers on church gate

Seven teenagers arrested as part of Sydney bishop stabbing investigation

Ayrton Senna's personal Honda NSX has been listed for sale

Ayrton Senna’s personal Honda NSX supercar on sale on AutoTrader for an eye-watering £500,000

Grant Shapps has called for other NATO members to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

Grant Shapps calls for other NATO members to follow UK's lead and boost defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

Jill Dando was shot dead outside her home in 1999. Her murder has never been solved

Serbian assassin ‘looks like man seen running near Jill Dando’s home on the day of Crimewatch presenter's murder’

Declan Rice and his girlfriend Lauren Fryer

Declan Rice's girlfriend deletes all social media pictures after online trolls start bullying over her appearance

Frank Field

Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field dies aged 81

Hairy Biker Dave Myers with his wife and stepson

Hairy Biker Dave Myers 'leaves £1.4 million to wife', as stepson pays tribute to TV chef 'he had the honour to call dad'