- The protester was seen tearing down balloons put up for kidnapped Israeli kids
- When confronted, he said: ‘This is someone else’s demonstration’
- He was quickly removed from the area by a Sussex Police liaison officer
A pro-Palestine protester was seen tearing down a balloon display set up in solidarity with Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas.
The as-yet-unnamed man was seen ripping away light-blue balloons at the pro-Palestine march on Sunday, understood to have been organised by the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
The man, who was carrying a large Palestinian flag at the time, was seen wearing a brown checked shirt, blue jeans and a black jacket.
When confronted by a horrified onlooker, who asked him why he tore the balloons down, he said: ‘This is someone else’s demonstration.’
When told that the public park where the protest took place was a ‘free space’, he replied: ‘No, but it’s not.’
As he turns to walk away, a police liaison officer can be seen escorting the protester away from the protest area.
He was later seen freely walking with marchers around 20 minutes afterwards.
It is not currently clear whether the protester faced any punishment for ripping the balloons down.
Sussex Police said in a social media post earlier today: ‘We are aware of content circulating on social media in relation to protest activity in Brighton and Hove today, and we have taken action.
‘A woman has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage; a man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault; a man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence; and another man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a racially aggravated public order offence.’
Many were draped in Israeli flags and held posters saying ‘kidnapped’ and ‘bring them home’ with the names and faces of hostages captured by the terrorist organisation.
Emotional songs of peace rang out in Parliament Square as protestors sang the Israeli national anthem Hatikva – simply translating to ‘the hope’.
Those in attendance also held solemn moments of silence which were interrupted only by chants of ‘Bring them home’.
Elsewhere in the UK, supporters also gathered at a silent vigil outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to remember those who are being held hostage.
Heart-shaped balloons were attached to shoes to represent each of the hundreds of people believed to have been kidnapped.
Gunmen travelled via land and air, paragliding into Israel and attacking a music festival, gunning down more than 260 people.
Elsewhere, Hamas militants killed entire villages and burned families in their own homes. Children and even babies were found shot in cold blood and even beheaded, officials have said.
In response, Israel has retaliated by bombarding Gaza relentlessly.
Tel Aviv’s retaliation, which has included a ground incursion into the territory, has killed more than 9,000 people, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
The growing death toll since Hamas’s deadly raids on October 7 has sparked a host of protests in the UK, with thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters taking to the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast on Saturday to demand a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Hamas announced nearly a week ago that it would free the foreign hostages in its captivity in the coming days.
Around 240 hostages are believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, after the militant group attacked communities across southern Israel on October 7 – triggering a fierce bombing campaign and ground incursion of the territory by the Israeli military.
Five hostages have been released to date, including four after negotiations through a diplomatic backchannel and one following an operation by the Israeli army.
In a televised address, Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said: ‘We have informed intermediaries that we will release a certain number of foreigners in the next few days.’
The announcement came as international warnings increased over the spiralling bloodshed and mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, on a day in which Israeli troops and Hamas militants engaged in ‘fierce battles’ in the north of the strip.
‘Gaza will be a graveyard and a quagmire for the enemy, its soldiers and its political and military leadership,’ said Obeida.