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Clashes with police and Israeli TV reporter attacked at pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
Clashes with police and Israeli TV reporter attacked at pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin
Copyright  AP Photo/Michael Sohn   -  

Violent confrontations broke out between protesters and police, and an Israeli TV reporter was also attacked, at a pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin on Saturday.

Several protests took place across the city as well as other parts of Germany over the weekend, coinciding with demonstrations in countries across Europe.

Participants waved flags and shouted "Free Palestine", also expressing anger at Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in the past week, which have killed more than 180 people.

Antonia Yamin, a journalist reporting for Israeli state TV was heckled and then had to run for cover after someone threw a firecracker that went off near her.

Reporting on camera, she said: "I suspected that something like this could happen. It's not the first time for me, in this part of Berlin, with a Hebrew microphone and speaking in Hebrew. Last time the same thing happened, also with a firecracker."

There have been multiple reports of antisemitic slogans being chanted at protests in German cities, which have been widely condemned by politicians.

Protesters also clashed with police after officers attempted to break up a crowd for violating health protocols. Some people threw bottles and stones as well as firecrackers.

Police responded with pepper spray and appeared to detain some demonstrators, though the total number of arrests has not yet been confirmed. It comes a day after police used water cannons to quell furious protesters in Paris.

Arrests in UK capital over drive-by antisemitic incident

Police in London also arrested four people on Sunday after a convoy of cars drove through two areas of the capital with large Jewish populations, with the drivers shouting violent antisemitic language

The footage showed several cars adorned with Palestinian flags driving through Finchley Road in north London. A man’s voice could be heard through a loudspeaker shouting profanities about Jews and saying “rape their daughters.”

Alberto Pezzali/AP
People march in solidarity with Palestinians in central London on SaturdayAlberto Pezzali/AP

The poster claimed the cars had also driven through Golders Green in north London. Metropolitan Police force said officers stopped a car on a main road in the west of the city and detained four men on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order offenses.

“This behaviour was utterly shocking and will not be tolerated," police Supt. Jo Edwards said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the incident, which came against a backdrop of thousands-strong pro-Palestinian protests in the capital on Saturday, some of which had also led to scuffles with police.

“There is no place for antisemitism in our society," he said on Twitter. "Ahead of [major Jewish holiday] Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews, who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.”

On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in London to protest Israel’s strikes on Gaza during a week of conflict. It was one of scores of protests around the world.

At least 188 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed in the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence since a 50-day war in Gaza in 2014.