2 charged with terror offenses for paraglider signs at UK pro-Gaza, anti-Israel rally

Prosecutors say there’s reasonable suspicion the suspects are supporters of Hamas terror group; PM Sunak slams plan for pro-Palestinian protest on Remembrance Day

Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rally in London on October 21, 2023 to demand a ceasefire. (Henry Nicholls/AFP)
Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rally in London on October 21, 2023 to demand a ceasefire. (Henry Nicholls/AFP)

Two British women were charged with a terror offense on Friday for allegedly displaying images of paragliders at a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rally in London last month.

Hamas’s October 7 massacre saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land and sea, as well as a cell that used paragliders to cross into Israel. The terrorists slaughtered 1,400 people, most of them civilians, massacred amid brutal atrocities in their homes and at a music festival.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Heba Alhayey, 29, and Pauline Ankunda, 26, both of south London, were charged “with single counts of carrying or displaying an article, namely an image displaying a paraglider, to arouse reasonable suspicion that they are supporters of a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, on Saturday 14 October 2023,” The Guardian reported.

The women face up to six months imprisonment if found guilty.

Police have also asked for the public’s help in identifying a third woman who also displayed an image of a paraglider at the rally, as well as a man who was holding a sign saying “I fully support Hamas” during a London protest on October 21.

Cdr. Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, told the BBC that the force “worked swiftly and decisively” on the matter.

The Metropolitan Police have faced growing criticism for their policing of the weekly pro-Palestinian rallies in central London, with some saying they are failing to crack down on hate speech.

Additionally, pro-Palestinian groups have been holding mass sit-ins to disrupt commuters at train stations in the British capital.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been marching each week in British cities to demand an immediate ceasefire, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans including “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The slogan is used by Hamas and others to advocate for the destruction of Israel, since Israel, the West Bank and Gaza sit between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea.

Police told Sky News that they will “look to sharpen our police response,” with thousands set to gather again for a march in the British capital.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday slammed plans for a large pro-Palestinian rally to be held in London on November 11, Remembrance Day.

The day commemorates the ceasefire signed to mark the end of hostilities in World War I, and is the UK’s national day to mourn those killed in war.

Sunak, who visited Israel shortly after the start of the war in a show of support, branded the plans for the protest on that day “provocative and disrespectful,” and told police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, there is “a clear and present risk” that war memorials “could be desecrated,” Sky News reported.

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Ministers’ Questions session in parliament in London, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said it was “entirely unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London.”

War erupted on October 7 when terrorists streamed into Israel, killing over 1,400 people, a majority of them civilians slain in their homes and at an outdoor music festival. Hamas and allied terrorist factions also dragged over 240 hostages — including some 30 children — into the Gaza Strip where they remain captive.

The assault came under cover of a barrage of thousands of rockets fired at Israel. Rocket fire from Gaza has continued ever since, frequently sending hundreds of thousands of people in southern and central Israel into bomb shelters and displacing over 200,000 people who have evacuated the worst-hit areas. There has also been sporadic rocket fire at northern Israel from terror groups in Lebanon.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and for three weeks has carried out intensive strikes on Gaza while saying it is seeking to minimize harm to civilians.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry claims the Israeli strikes have killed over 9,000 people, many of them children. The figures issued by the terror group cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include its own terrorists and gunmen killed in Israel and in Gaza, and the victims of what Israel says are hundreds of errant Palestinian rockets aimed at Israel that have landed inside the Strip since the war began.

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