Golders Green bridge vandalised in 'antisemitic' incident labeled 'incitement to hatred'

The area is home to one of the UK's largest Jewish communities


Vandals have targeted Golders Green in north London, spray painting the words "Palestine will be free" on a railway bridge in the area that is home to one of the UK's largest Jewish populations. The words 'Free Palestine' were painted elsewhere.

The community, which has been left reeling by Hamas's unprecedented terror attack in Israel, where the death toll is in the hundreds, and dozens of Jews have been kidnappped and held hostage, was greeted by the sight as it emerged a local restaurant had been robbed.

The windows of kosher restaurant Pita were smashed and a till was stolen on Sunday night, in what locals feared was a targeted antisemitic attack. Scotland Yard, however, stated the incident was not being treated as a hate crime.

“Police were called at approximately 06:10hrs on Monday, 9 October to reports of a burglary and damage caused to a restaurant in Golders Green Road, NW11," the Met Police said in a statement.

"It was reported that a cash register had been stolen.

"Officers have attended the scene and examined CCTV at the location. There has been no arrest and enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.

"At this stage, the incident is not being treated as a hate crime."

Commenting on the pro-Palestine vandalism messages that have appeared overnight in the area, David Hirsch of the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism branded the graffiti an act of Jew-hatred.

"In the context of the pogrom in Israel that killed a thousand Jews on Saturday, the slogan 'free Palestine', painted in public spaces in Golders Green in London, at the centre of the UK Jewish community, is an antisemitic slogan and it is incitement to violence," he said.

It comes after the Met Police confirmed that officers will step up patrols in London amid fears of antisemitic attacks and protests after Hamas terrorists launched the single biggest attack on Israeli civilians in the history of the country. 

Scotland Yard said it would increase the presence of officers in response to a 'number of incidents' that have been shared on social media.  

Meanwhile Suella Braverman has said she expects the police to "use the full force of the law" against displays of support for Hamas after videos emerged of people celebrating the terror groups attack on Israel. 

Over the weekend, footage emerged of motorists waving Palestinian flags, beeping car horns and clapping in Acton, West London. TV presenter Rachel Riley voiced her shock after witnessing the incident.

In another video, motorists draped their cars in Palestinian flags and beeped their horns as they drove down Edgware Road. 

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