Three people charged with hate crimes as tensions over the Israel-Hamas conflict rise

The Met police have charged three people for offences linked to protests or hate crimes as tensions rise in the capital over the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Urslaan Khan, 41, of east London, has been charged with expressing an opinion that was supportive of the proscribed organisation, Hamas, at a pro-Palestine protest in Whitehall, Westminster, on October 17.

He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 17.

Mohammed Elle, 23, of Ulster Place, Westminster, was charged with assaulting an emergency worker and possession of cannabis, at a pro-Palestine protest on November 4.

He was arrested at the protest after fireworks were fired into the crowd and at police officers.

He was also charged with failing to comply with a direction to disperse after a dispersal order was put in place by police, and failing to remove a face covering when required.

He is currently on bail and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 23.

Jorge Silva, 58, of Amhurst Park, Hackney has been charged with using threatening and abusive behaviour intended to cause racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

The charge relates to an incident in Hackney, on October 14, where Silva is alleged to have made anti-Semitic comments.

Silva was bailed to appear at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on November 29. 

Officers have arrested a woman in connection with an investigation into alleged terrorism offences at a protest in Whitehall on October 14, where a group were seen displaying images of paragliders.

On Wednesday evening, officers arrested a 27-year-old woman from South London on suspicion of inviting support for the proscribed organisation Hamas.

She remains in custody at a west London police station.

Heba Alhayek, 29, and Pauline Ankunda, 26, both from South London, were charged on November 3, with inviting support for Hamas, as part of the same investigation.

They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

The charges come as tensions rise across the capital as a result of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

In Gaza more than 10,500 Palestinians have now been killed by Israeli air strikes in just over a month according to the health ministry in the territory. The retaliatory attacks by the Israeli government follow the October 7, attacks by Hamas which saw 1,400 people killed in Israel and more than 240 taken hostage. 

Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald said: “Officers from across the Met continue to work to identify and secure charges against anyone believed to have committed offences during protests or in the community.

“We continue to receive reports about potential offences, committed both in the real world and online, and we are grateful for the public for their ongoing assistance.

“We would urge anyone who has information about suspicious activity or actions that they believe may constitute an offence to get in touch. Every report is reviewed, and we will act where offences are identified.”

A large pro-Palestine march is set to take place on Saturday during the Armistice weekend, from Hyde Park to the US embassy. The protest will not start until after the 11am silence.

Pictured top: Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Westminster on October 28 (Picture: PA)

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