The interior minister will challenge the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s decision not to arrest pro-Palestinian protesters calling for “jihad” against Israel.
Suella Braverman would later tell Sir Mark Rowley ‘there can be no place for incitement to hatred or violence’ on UK streets and that police should ‘crack down on anyone who breaks the law’ .
Some ministers have condemned the police for their management of rallies in London and other cities including Birmingham, Cardiff and Belfast this weekend in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Latest political news: Terrorist arrests made in the UK since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas
The force said officers also viewed a video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest showing a man speaking into a microphone in front of a banner reading “Muslim armies! Save the people of Palestine.”
The keynote speaker asks: “What is the solution to freeing people from the concentration camp called Palestine?
A man standing next to the speaker, but neither on a platform nor speaking into the microphone, can then be heard chanting words such as “jihad, jihad”, as can other people attending the rally.
In response to the social media post, the Met said specialist counter-terrorism officers had not identified any offenses arising from the clip.
In a statement, the force said: “The word (jihad) has many meanings but we know that the public will most often associate it with terrorism.
“Specialist officers have assessed the video and have not identified any offenses arising from the specific clip. We have also sought advice from specialist lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service, who have reached the same conclusion.
“However, mindful of how language like this will be interpreted by the public and the divisive impact it will have, officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repetition of similar chants .”
Jihad can mean struggle or effort, but it has also been interpreted to refer to holy war.
Man arrested for inciting racial hatred after pro-Palestinian march in London
What Hamas’ release of American hostages could mean for Israel’s expected invasion
Sir Mark was already due to meet Ms Braverman later today.
A source close to the Interior Minister said: “The Interior Minister is already scheduled to meet with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner tomorrow (Monday) to discuss the ongoing protests between Israel and Gaza and will seek an explanation on the response to the incidents that took place on Saturday.
“There can be no place for incitement to hatred or violence on the streets of Britain and, as the Home Secretary has made clear, the police are urged to take action against anyone who violates the law.”
Earlier, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said people chanting “jihad” on the streets of the capital were “inciting terrorist violence”.
He told Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips on Sky News: “Claiming ‘jihad’ on the streets of London is completely reprehensible and I never want to see scenes like this. It incites terrorist violence and must be fought with the full force of the law.
“Ultimately it is an operational question for the police and the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) whether to press charges.”
He added: “Arrests have been made… There have been arrests since this situation began… There have been arrests under terrorist legislation. And we want to do everything we can to protect British Jews.
“But it’s a broader issue that goes beyond just legality. It’s also a question of values. And there should be a consensus in this country that chanting things like ‘jihad’ is completely reprehensible and wrong and we never want to see that in our country.”
The Jewish security organization Community Security Trust criticized the Met, saying that “by trying to communicate complex and nuanced legal issues” on social media, “they were appearing to legitimize abhorrent and hateful behavior which can whether criminal or not, but which nevertheless gives rise to deep concern. to British Jews and many others.”
In a message posted on Hizb ut-Tahrir’s website explaining why it decided to hold protests on Saturday outside the Egyptian and Turkish embassies in London, the group said Palestinians had been subjected to “brutal oppression.” and called on Egypt and Turkey to unite. “save their Palestinian brothers and sisters”.