Cops line the streets as Palestine rally hits London amid four-day ceasefire in Gaza – as police make first arrest after warning Arabic-speaking officers are watching out for hate speech in crowd

e890-8b95-11ee-93c2-fd891e18d65b" rel="noopener">Metropolitan Police officers have gathered in central London as tens of thousands of protesters take part in a ‘National March for Palestine‘, with Arabic-speaking officers deployed to watch for hate speech and images in the crowd.

More than 150,000 activists are expected to carry out three separate demonstrations as London prepares for another weekend of mass protests.

Around 1,500 police officers are on duty including 500 from outside London as both pro-Palestinian marches and protests against antisemitism are held. There is also a demonstration from Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir outside the Egyptian Embassy.

The Met insisted that it will be safe for Jewish people to come into London this weekend and have been handing out leaflets at the protest to ‘provide clarity’ on offences and behaviour which won’t be tolerated.

The force is also positioning Arabic-speaking officers on the march, backed up in its central control room with lawyers to advise on whether specific phrases break the law. Around 1,500 officers have been deployed to protect the march.

The police have already made at least one arrest – with a man arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred by carrying a placard with Nazi symbols on it. 

Metropolitan Police officers have gathered in central London as protesters take part in a ‘National March for Palestine’, with Arabic-speaking officers deployed to watch for hate speech and images in the crowd

More than 150,000 activists are expected to carry out three separate demonstrations as London prepares for another weekend of mass protests

More than 150,000 activists are expected to carry out three separate demonstrations as London prepares for another weekend of mass protests

The force is also positioning Arabic-speaking officers on the march, backed up in its central control room with lawyers to advise on whether specific phrases break the law

The force is also positioning Arabic-speaking officers on the march, backed up in its central control room with lawyers to advise on whether specific phrases break the law

The Met Police posted on X, saying they've already made one arrest at the rally

The Met Police posted on X, saying they’ve already made one arrest at the rally

A group of demonstrators have also now been questioned by police over allegations of criminal damage.

At one point, one protestor hit out at a female police officer at the scene.

Footage shows officers searching some demonstrators when a man hits the officer on her arm.

Children as young as five have been chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’ – considered to be highly inflammatory and some claim to be a call for Israel to not exist, and signs are at the protest with the same phrase. Another sign said ‘no truce’.

One placard displayed a picture of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer under the word ‘Genocide’, while another had a picture of leaders of the G7 above the phrase ‘War criminals on the run’.

The national march, organised by the PSC, alongside Stop the War, the Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa and others, resumes today, with organisers saying they will continue until there is a complete ceasefire.

The protest began at 12:30 on Park Lane and will end outside the Houses of Parliament.

At the rally, crowds of people are calling for a ceasefire and holding signs. On footage of the rally, a woman can be heard shouting ‘what do we want?’ to which those in the crowd reply ‘ceasefire, now’.

This is despite a temporary four-day ceasefire exchange deal taking effect.

The fragile truce begun at 7am local time (5am GMT) yesterday, with guns laid down across the region for the first time in almost seven weeks. 

This weekend also comes in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered on the high street, meaning shopping areas are likely to be packed.

The national march, organised by the PSC, alongside Stop the War, the Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa and others, resumes today, with organisers saying they will continue until there is a complete ceasefire

The national march, organised by the PSC, alongside Stop the War, the Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al-Aqsa and others, resumes today, with organisers saying they will continue until there is a complete ceasefire

The protest began at 12:30 on Park Lane and will end outside the Houses of Parliament

The protest began at 12:30 on Park Lane and will end outside the Houses of Parliament

This weekend also comes in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered on the high street, meaning shopping areas are likely to be packed

This weekend also comes in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered on the high street, meaning shopping areas are likely to be packed

After anti-Semitic signs and slogans were seen and heard during the march on Armistice Day, and now officers have been briefed on which chants ‘cross the line of the law’ and trained spotters will be deployed to identify racist placards. 

The force’s ‘Hate Crime Protest Leaflet’ is supposed to provide ‘absolute clarity’ on what will be deemed an offence.

It doesn’t threaten those who break the law with arrest or any other sanction but asks protesters to ‘keep on the right side of the law’.

On the leaflet, the Met wrote: ‘The law protects the right to lawful protests, and the Met Police supports your right to legally make your voice heard.

‘However, the law also protects people from racist abuse and from terrorism being promoted.

‘Whilst the majority of people are complying with these rules, a minority have crossed the line.’

Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, the Gold Commander in London this weekend, said in a briefing that 40,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the protest.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday attended by MailOnline, Mr Adelekan said: ‘We will put all the protection that we put around any march around that antisemitism march, and we are working very closely with the Jewish community. 

‘I’ve personally met the organisers, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, I’ve had a number of conversations with them on how we’re going to keep them safe.’ 

He added that officers would enter large crowds decisively and quickly to arrest those using the chant to incite violence, terrorism or antisemitism.

The Metropolitan Police said anyone taking part in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration today must not deviate from the route specified in this map

The Metropolitan Police said anyone taking part in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration today must not deviate from the route specified in this map

The Met Police also said those involved in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration must not enter the area around the Israeli Embassy, which has been specified in this map

The Met Police also said those involved in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration must not enter the area around the Israeli Embassy, which has been specified in this map

Asked about reports that Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the far-right English Defence League, could attend the protest, Mr Adelekan said he was ‘not welcome’ at the march and would be engaged by officers.

Mr Adelekan said the force’s use of retrospective facial recognition to identify criminals at the protests was ‘improving all the time’.

Leaflets will also be handed out to protesters by officers along the march to provide ‘absolute clarity’ on what will be deemed an offence, he added.

The police are handing out leaflets warning against using  words or images ‘likely to land you in jail’.

It is the first time the Met has tried to give clarity on what language is unacceptable. 

The leaflets warn protesters not to use words or images:

  • that are racist or incite hatred against any faith
  • that support Hamas or any other banned organisation, it is illegal under UK law to support such terrorist organisations
  • that celebrate or promote acts of terrorism – such as the killing or kidnap of innocent people

The force had come under severe pressure from politicians over the decision to allow that march to go ahead, with former home secretary Suella Braverman accusing the force of showing bias in favour of left-wing protesters.

A 90-minute march organised by the charity Campaign Against Antisemitism is also due to take place on Sunday, with around 40,000-50,000 people expected to attend. 

An officer hands out leaflets reminding demonstrators to 'stay on the right side of the law'

An officer hands out leaflets reminding demonstrators to ‘stay on the right side of the law’

New Home Secretary James Cleverly said that he expected the Met to address the concerns from the Jewish community

New Home Secretary James Cleverly said that he expected the Met to address the concerns from the Jewish community

Leaflets will also be handed out to protesters by officers along the march to provide 'absolute clarity' on what will be deemed an offence

Leaflets will also be handed out to protesters by officers along the march to provide ‘absolute clarity’ on what will be deemed an offence

New Home Secretary James Cleverly said that he expected the Met to address the concerns from the Jewish community.

‘When a minority in the UK are screaming at us that they are scared beyond belief by what is happening it is incumbent upon UK policing and politicians to listen and respond,’ he told the Times.

‘What we saw over the last few weeks is the Jewish community in the UK telling us over and over and over again they felt vulnerable.

‘The police have to respond to that. In the conversations I have had with senior police officers in the Met and more broadly and in the conversation I had with the mayor of London I’ve made clear it is my expectation that they address those concerns.’

Among those released by Hamas on Friday were 13 Israelis who had been held in the Gaza Strip since the militant group staged a raid on Israel nearly seven weeks ago.

They are the first of 50 people to be released from Gaza during a four-day truce that began on Friday.

The freed Israeli hostages included eight women – six in their 70s and 80s – and three children.

Israel also confirmed that it had released 39 Palestinian prisoners as part of the agreement.