About 500 demonstrators staged a protest outside Downing Street in midst of nervous verbal clashes with a small group of pro-Israeli supporters.
The Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu began a state visit to the UK today amid calls for him to be prosecuted for war crimes over last year’s offensive against Gaza.
“We are trying to send a strong message to David Cameron that we as British citizens do not welcome people who cause division and terrorism in their countries,” human rights campaigner Ragad Altikriti, 43, told the Anadolu Agency.
“We should understand that Netanyahu is equal to a war criminal. He has committed endless crimes against the people of Gaza.”
Prior to Netanyahu’s visit, a group of lawmakers and trade union leaders wrote an open letter calling on UK Prime Minister David Cameron not to welcome “the man who presides over Israel’s occupation and its siege of Gaza.”
A petition on the UK parliament’s website calling for Netanyahu’s arrest has been signed by more than 100,000 people.
Speaking before his flight to London, Netanyahu said he would tell Cameron that Europe must support Israel and fight extremist Islam, the UK-based Jewish Chronicle reported.
The two prime ministers are due to hold talks at Downing Street on Thursday morning.