Police appeal to find women at pro-Palestine march who wore paraglider pictures after Hamas massacre

Photograph shared online shows image echoing the paraglider used in deadly Hamas attacks taped to the backs of two women in protest march

Lydia Patrick
Sunday 15 October 2023 18:33 BST
Aerial footage captures thousands of pro-Palestine protesters marching through London

Police want to find two women who were seen wearing images of paragliders at a pro-Palestine march in London on Saturday.

Thousands of people attended the demonstration in the capital, marching in solidarity with Palestinians trapped in Gaza as the Israeli army bombards the territory.

Pictures and footage of two people attending the event were shared on social media after it appeared they had images of paragliders taped to their shoulders.

Police have released this image of two women they would like to speak to (MetPolice)

Paragliders were used by Hamas during their deadly attack on civilians in Israel last weekend, leaving some 1,300 people dead.

Metropolitan Police officers investigating a public order offence have now released a picture of the two women in the hope of identifying them.

Images of paragliders have been used in online memes and on posters organising pro-Palestinian events since the attacks.

Black Lives Matter Chicago was forced to apologise earlier this week after sharing a picture of a paraglider with the message “Free Palestine”.

The organisation tweeted on October 10: “Yesterday we sent out [messages] that we aren’t proud of. We stand with Palestine & the people who will do what they must to live free. Our hearts are with, the grieving mothers, those rescuing babies from rubble, who are in danger of being wiped out completely.”

Pro-Palestinian marches were also held in Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh on Saturday.

Seven arrests were made during the London demonstration, four in breach of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, two for public order offences and one for criminal damage.

In the evening there were small pockets of disorder in Trafalgar Square, with nine officers treated for minor injuries, the Met said. Officers are now reviewing footage and other material from the protest and its aftermath for any further criminal offences.

A statement from the Met said: “Officers investigating a public order offence wish to identify two women who attended the protests yesterday; at present we only have a ‘front on’ image of the woman in red.

“We ask these women or anyone who knows their identity to contact officers via 101 or @MetCC, ref 3077/15oct.”

Large crowds turned out to support the Palestinian people across the UK (AP)

Since last weekend, there has been a rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents reported to the Met. The force has increased its street presence to deal with tensions provoked by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Before the protests on Saturday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “Our role as an independent and impartial service is to balance the right to lawful protest with potential disruption to Londoners.

“People do not have the right to incite violence or hatred. The law is clear that support for proscribed organisations is illegal.

“Anyone with a flag in support of Hamas or any other proscribed terrorist organisation will be arrested.

“We will not tolerate the celebration of terrorism or death, or tolerate anyone inciting violence.”

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