Demonstrators block bridge outside UK parliament while protesting against Israel

LONDON — Pro-Palestinian anti-Israel protesters block roads outside the British parliament in London, demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and clashing with police who prevent them from marching across Westminster Bridge.

Videos posted on social media shows police blocking protesters’ access to the bridge and a Reuters reporter says there have been several small scuffles. Unable to fully access the bridge, where they had planned to unfurl banners, protesters instead occupy the surrounding roads.

Police say they have imposed a legal order limiting the location of the protests and that by 3 p.m. local time people had begun to disperse. Those who refuse to comply with an order to leave could be arrested, police say.

Today’s action is smaller than previous mass marches but comes two days before the British parliament returns to work after its Christmas break. The protest is designed to push politicians to adopt a harder stance toward Israel.

Most previous protests in London have been coordinated with police and remained largely peaceful but police say the organizers of today’s protests had refused to share details of their plans.

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