The Metropolitan Police has told anti-Israel protesters that their London march this weekend can include one stage rather than two.
Organisers are furious that their request for a second stage – along Whitehall, as well as to Trafalgar Square – was not granted.
The Met said: “We must balance the rights of protesters with the rights of others. The scale and frequency of marches is causing serious disruption to many Londoners.
“We do not support a request to extend the march into Whitehall.”
Anti-Israel marches have dominated central London on several Saturdays since the start of the war.
Last week, Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist told a Policy Exchange event that around 6,800 shifts had been carried out by officers coming into London to assist the Met and 4,600 rest days had been cancelled. Pro-Palestinian and Israeli demonstrations have cost the Met £26.5 million.
The police have made arrests during and after the marches. Offences have ranged from public order offences to inciting racial hatred, showing support for a proscribed organisation and assaulting a police officer.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said in a statement: “Not having a second stage risks serious overcrowding in Trafalgar Square and most protesters not reaching the endpoint of the demonstration, leading to heavy congestion in Regents Street and Piccadilly.”
The activist group claimed that the police gave “no reasonable rationale" for not allowing the two stages.
Left-wing site The Socialist Worker encouraged protesters to “build the demo, defy the ban.”
Labour MP John McDonnell tweeted: “There’ve now been several huge demonstrations organised by @PSCupdates which have been well managed with cooperation between the organisers & Met police. I would urge the police to meet with the organisers urgently to resolve this & respect the wishes of the organisers.”