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Thousands to march in London rally against antisemitism

It comes during a weekend in which Hamas and Israel have exchanged hostages and prisoners.

Dominic McGrath
Sunday 26 November 2023 11:50 GMT
Around 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the event organised by charity Campaign Against Antisemitism (Victoria Jones/PA)
Around 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the event organised by charity Campaign Against Antisemitism (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Tens of thousands of people are expected to march in London later in a demonstration against antisemitism.

Both ministers and the Metropolitan Police have stressed the need for the UK’s Jewish community to feel safe on the streets, amid concern about rising tensions sparked by the conflict in Gaza.

A temporary truce between Hamas and Israel is still holding, with the release of a second group of hostages and Palestinians from Israeli prisons coming late on Saturday.

Among those reunited with their family was nine-year-old Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was among those abducted by the Palestinian militant group during the deadly Hamas attack on October 7.

The rally in the capital comes after tens of thousands of people gathered once again on Saturday to demand a permanent ceasefire. Some pro-Palestinian demonstrators accused Israel of committing genocide, while others chanted “from the river to the sea”.

There were 18 arrests made over the course of the day for a range of alleged offences – including suspicion of inciting racial hatred and suspicion of supporting a proscribed organisation.

Around 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the march later in a rally organised by charity Campaign Against Antisemitism.

But there have been fears that Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the far-right English Defence League, could attend the protest.

Mr Robinson was last seen among the crowds of counter-protesters who clashed with police during protests held on Armistice Day.

The Met said he was “not welcome” at the march, with the force warning that any offences “whether from within the protest or from any groups trying to challenge or interfere with the march” would be dealt with.

Appearing on Sky’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott said: “I’m very concerned about people, particularly Jewish people, feeling safe on the streets.

“I think it is right that the police take all necessary action to make sure that people are able to walk about their home city without fear.”

Israel said early on Sunday that it had received a new list of hostages slated to be released later in the day, in the third of four scheduled swaps.

Hamas is to release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel 150 Palestinian prisoners. All are women and minors.

The deal seemed at risk of unravelling on Saturday after Hamas accused Israel of violating the agreement, delaying the exchange.

But the militants eventually released 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners.

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