Police 'fully intend to intervene' if Hezbollah flags flown at London Al Quds Day march

Senior officer says force will 'enforce the law, where possible'


The Metropolitan Police has said it "fully intends to intervene" if Hezbollah flags are flown are next month's Al Quds Day march, now that both wings of the terror group are proscribed in Britain.

The yellow flags - which depict a hand grasping a stylised assault rifle - have been routinely flown at the annual anti-Israel march thanks to a legal loophole which existed due to the fact that only the military wing of the group was initially banned, not the political wing.

But in February the government legislated to ban Hezbollah in its entirety, empowering police to seize material that promotes them and arrests.

The proscription makes it a crime to "wear clothing or carry or display articles in public" in support of Hezbollah.

"In previous years we have seen support for the group Hezballah, including flags, banners and chanting," the Met's Superintendent Nick Collins wrote to the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

"The MPS is aware of the significant impact that the support for a terrorist organisation can have on the communities of London.

"It fully intends to intervene to enforce the law, where possible, should any offences be disclosed."

Al Quds Day, named after the Arabic word for Jerusalem, is an anti-Israel day of protest held around the time of the final Friday of Ramadan, first initiated by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

Hezbollah flags were flown at the London march in June 2018, where one speaker said Israel "should be wiped off the map".

The year before, the march leader Nazim Ali told the crowd "Zionists" were "responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell".

Stephen Silverman, CAA's director of investigations and enforcement, said: "It was outrageous that Hezbollah supporters were allowed to march through the streets of our capital and we fought long and hard as a community to stop terrorist supporters from being allowed to brazenly flaunt their hatred.

"We are pleased that the police have put in place robust plans to enforce the law.”

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