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Met police probe destruction of posters showing Israeli hostages

A man and woman are seen tearing down posters at bus stop of Israeli woman and children kidnapped by Hamas (Twitter)
A man and woman are seen tearing down posters at bus stop of Israeli woman and children kidnapped by Hamas (Twitter)

Scotland Yard are investigating a string of incidents where posters of Israeli civilians kidnapped by Hamas have been vandalised or ripped down.

Footage shared on social media shows the moment several people ripped down pictures of victims, including children, at a bus stop in Finchley Road, north London, on Tuesday night.

In the video, an elderly woman tries to intervene, saying: “How dare you tear that down. In this country we have freedom of speech.”

Separate posts show posters defaced nearby, with an image of missing three-year-old twins Emma and Yuli Cunio given Hitler moustaches.

The Israeli Embassy in London condemned the incident, saying: “Defacing images of kidnapped Israeli children with Hitler moustaches is profoundly antisemitic, evoking chilling echoes of the Holocaust.”

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Tory activist Chris Rose said on X, formally Twitter: “How mentally depraved do you have to be to do that? London has a big anti-Semitism problem.”

A separate video filmed on Tuesday night showed people in Leicester Square also tearing down posters.

Jewish safety group The Community Security Trust has recorded more than 330 hate crimes incidents in London since Hamas gunmen launched their murderous assault on Israel on October 7.

It said anti-Semitic graffiti on posters of hostages “cannot be allowed to stand”.

Police are also seeking to identify a female seen tearing down posters on Oxford Street who was confronted by a Jewish woman on October 19.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said the incidents were being investigated.

“We know many people will find this behaviour upsetting. There is no place in London for hate,” they said.

It came as protest slogans n support of both Israel and Palestinians were sprayed outside the famous Abbey Road Studios in St John’s Wood yesterday.

“Free the hostages” was daubed in red paint on a white wall.

Alongside it, Palestinian flags were daubed next to the phrase “All you need is love, stop bombing innocent” – referring to The Beatles song recorded at the studios.

Separately, Palestinian flags are being removed from nearly every lamppost on Bow Road, Tower Hamlets after police raised concerns.

Scotland Yard said no offences had been committed but “there are some situations where the presence of a flag or banner or the use of specific words or phrases could be seen as intimidation.

“In some circumstances, it could also be seen as intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress.”

Transport for London and Tower Hamlets Council said they taking down “unauthorised flags”.