Police step in after ‘free Palestine’ supporters approach pro-Israel protesters

Police officers were forced to step in after a small group of people chanting “free Palestine” approached a gathering of pro-Israel protesters in London.

The large crowd, which congregated in Kensington High Street on Sunday afternoon, waved Israeli flags and banners and chanted loudly, while a number of speeches were made.

A large police presence was in the area and a number of surrounding roads were closed off.

Pro-Israel rally – London
People waved Israeli and British flags (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Placards bearing the messages “Free Gaza From Hamas” and “Israel has the right to defend itself” were held aloft as music was played loudly.

Some people could be seen on lampposts letting off blue smoke despite the heavy rain.

Footage from the demonstration circulating on social media appeared to show English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, among the attendees.

A small group of of men, many wearing masks and hoods, tried to enter the protest area chanting “free Palestine”.

Pro-Israel rally – London
People wave flags at the rally (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

They waved Palestinian flags and goaded pro-Israel protesters before police officers attempted to move them away.

The group then started throwing objects at police and chanting back at the pro-Israel protesters.

A number of people were taken to nearby police vans.

Officers then cornered the group and members of the public were ushered away.

After the rally finished, a small number of them could be seen walking around the high street chanting, before surrounding the nearby Israeli embassy, which had been guarded by a number of police officers.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The demonstration that took place in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon has concluded without incident.

“A small group of counter-protesters also attended and were monitored by officers.

“They have since left the immediate area.

“There were no arrests in relation to the demonstration. “