London police respond after speaker at pro-Palestinian event calls to ‘normalize massacres’

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A pro-Palestinian speaker issued a call to “normalize massacres” during a demonstration in London on Saturday in support of a cease-fire in Gaza, prompting police to look into the matter.

Pro-Palestinian supporters had marched through central London as part of a global day of action against Israeli military action against Hamas in Gaza.

Video has circulated on social media of one speaker, Palestinian activist Mohammed el-Kurd, addressing a crowd gathered in Parliament Square.

“I dare you to look into the eyes of a Gazan child and tell him you tried your best,” he told the crowd. “Our day will come. But we must not be complacent. Our day will come. But we must normalize massacres as a status quo.”

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pro-Palestinian protesters marching

Protesters hold up banners, flags and placards in Trafalgar Square during a demonstration in support of Palestinians in Gaza, in London, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

El-Kurd later responded to backlash about his statement regarding the normalization of massacres on X, writing that he “would never say that.”

“I was clearly saying we shouldn’t be complacent, we shouldn’t normalize massacres,” he wrote. “Willfully distorting my words is an indication of your own bankruptcy. I’m allowed to misspeak. Also: idagf. Call the police! Write a Yelp review!”

London police issued a statement on X saying that authorities were aware of the video and the remarks.

“Officers are aware of the remarks, the commentary surrounding them and the subsequent statements issued by the speaker,” Metropolitan Police said. “They are assessing the matter and as part of that assessment will be seeking to speak to the individual concerned.” 

Despite claiming that he misspoke in that one instance, videos posted online show el-Kurd’s speech also directly called for Zionism to be extinguished from the world.

“Zionism is apartheid, it’s genocide, it’s murder, it’s a racist ideology rooted in settler expansion and racial domination, and we must root it out of the world,” el-Kurd said.

pro-Palestinian protesters marching

Pro-Palestinian supporters marched in London on Saturday to call for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

He continued: “We must de-Zionise because Zionism is a death cult, Zionism is indefensible.”

Both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrations have erupted in the months since Hamas terrorists triggered the war in Gaza.

pro-Palestinian protesters marching

The demonstration in London was one of many pro-Palestinian demonstrations that were held in cities across the world on Saturday. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Hamas terrorists launched the deadly attack on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians. About 250 more were taken hostage, and while some have been released or confirmed dead, more than half are believed to still be held captive in Gaza.

In the 100 days since Israel responded to the Hamas attack, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed.

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A pro-Israel rally was set to take place in Trafalgar Square in London on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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