Four men arrested after anti-Semitic abuse was heard being shouted from a car in North London in videos shared on social media were today released on bail.
The incident in St John’s Wood on Sunday afternoon received cross-party criticism, with the Prime Minister condemning it as ‘shameful racism’ with ‘no place’ in society.
A convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags was filmed passing along Finchley Road with passengers heard to shout offensive language and threats against Jews.
The passengers allegedly yelled: ‘F*** the Jews… F*** all of them. F*** their mothers, f*** their daughters and show your support for Palestine. Rape their daughters and we have to send a message like that. Please do it for the poor children in Gaza.’
Detectives carrying out an investigation traced the car to the A40 in Hillingdon, with the police helicopter deployed and the car stopped at about 6.30pm the same day.
Four men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences and were taken into custody at a police station in West London.
While there, they were also arrested in connection with what police described as a ‘similar incident’ on the same day at 1.35am in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Scotland Yard said all four men have since been ‘released on bail pending further enquiries in relation to both incidents’.
The incident comes after thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to the gates of the Israeli embassy.
Protests also took place in other cities across the UK and Ireland in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Anti-Semitic abuse was heard being shouted from a car in North London on Sunday afternoon
Thousands of Palestinians have had to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict.
Since Monday night, Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.
Metropolitan Police Superintendent Jo Edwards, in charge of investigation into the video, said: ‘This behaviour was utterly shocking and will not be tolerated.
‘I understand that this would have caused considerable concern within the community and we have arranged extra patrols in the St John’s Wood and Golders Green areas this evening.’
The act in St John’s Wood in North London on Sunday afternoon received cross-party criticism
And Boris Johnson said: ‘There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society.
‘Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the incident as ‘utterly disgusting’.
‘Anti-Semitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society,’ he said. There must be consequences.’
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators wave flags as they stage a protest in London on Sunday
Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said: ‘The scenes I’ve witnessed in my constituency today have left me sick to my stomach.
‘The blatant and open anti-Semitism on display today, deliberately targeting areas with large Jewish populations is nothing short of incitement and I have urgently raised the matter with the Home Secretary, Commissioner and Mayor.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: ‘There is no place for this hatred in the UK.’
Referring to the video of the convoy, Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘This, on the streets of London, is deeply disturbing.
Riot police watch pro-Palestinian protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Saturday
‘Vile, criminal hatred like this must not be tolerated.’
In a statement Mr Jenrick continued: ‘Whatever your view of the conflict in Israel and Gaza, there is no justification for inciting anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim hatred.
‘The incidents of anti-Semitism we have seen in recent days have been shameful.
‘Some of the language used on marches this weekend and in posts on social media is intimidating, criminal and racist.
Smokes and flames rise after airstrikes by the Israeli army hit buildings in Gaza City yesterday
‘We must not tolerate this vile, shameful hate in our country. These actions must stop.’
Gideon Falter, chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: ‘We are deeply concerned for the safety of British Jews. We are grateful for the allyship of those who have spoken up for us but alarmed by the incitement that drowns it out.’
The Met added that officers also engaged with protesters at a planned demonstration in Whitehall during the afternoon.
It said the event occurred peacefully and concluded without any arrests.