London – Hezbollah flags were once again flown at Sunday’s annual Al Quds march in central London, where one speaker said Israel should be “wiped from the map”.
Addressing the crowd, Shaykh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour also claimed Zionists’ “days are numbered”, as the pro-Palestinian demonstration clashed with Zionist counter-demonstrators and far-right nationalists.
Al Quds Day, named for 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.
This year, once again, protestors were legally allowed to fly the yellow Hezbollah flag, which depicts a hand grasping a stylised assault rifle.
This is because of a legal loophole as the militant group’s military wing is banned as a terror organisation in the UK but its political wing is not, despite calls from London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the Home Office to proscribe both wings.
Nazim Hussein Ali, who said there was a connection between the Grenfell Tower tragedy and “Zionists” at last year’s event, once again led the protest.
A large cheer went up as Mr Ali urged the crowd to thank “people of Jewish backgrounds” who attended the rally, including members of the strictly Orthodox Neturei Karta sect, who oppose Zionism.
In between the speeches, demonstrators burned an Israeli flag.