Demonstrators held posters that read 'zero tolerance for anti-Semitism'
Demonstrators held posters that read 'zero tolerance for anti-Semitism' as they walked to parliament. AFP

Thousands of demonstrators, some waving Israeli and British flags, marched against anti-Semitism through central London on Sunday.

The protest came a day after large pro-Palestinian crowds took to the streets of Britain's capital to demand a full ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The UK has seen a spike in anti-Semitic incidents since the unprecedented October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel unleashed the latest conflict in the Gaza Strip.

"The hate has got to disappear. You can't have hate on either side," 69-year-old retiree Michael Jennings told AFP, as the march began outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

Demonstrators, who were joined by ex-prime minister Boris Johnson, held posters that read "Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism" as they walked to parliament.

They also displayed photographs of Israelis and foreigners kidnapped by Hamas militants.

"We're here to support Israel. We're here to ask for the release of all the hostages," 52-year-old Debby Goldberg told AFP, a large Israeli flag wrapped around her shoulders.

"We're here asking for peace and asking for this nightmare to be over," added Goldberg, an Israeli citizen originally from Argentina.

Omer Plotniarz, a 37-year-old music therapist, said he was so worried about anti-Semitism that he had not brought his wife and child on the march.

"We're not here about hating people. We're not here to shout for murder. On the seventh of October we woke up to a new reality and we are all traumatised by that," he told AFP.

Plotniarz and other protesters wore stickers that said: "Our love is stronger than your hate."

"We just want to see our babies, our wives, our brothers, sisters, everyone back home," Plotniarz added.

A third set of hostages were due to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners Sunday as a delicate truce in the seven-week war held.

In the deadliest attack in Israel's history, Hamas gunmen snatched around 240 people and killed about 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, according to Israeli authorities.

In response Israel launched an air, artillery and naval bombardment alongside a ground offensive to destroy Hamas, killing nearly 15,000 people, mostly civilians and including thousands of children, according to the Hamas government in Gaza.

During Sunday's march, organised by Campaign Against Antisemitism, police arrested far-right agitator Tommy Robinson who had been told to stay clear of the demonstration.

Jewish charity the Community Security Trust (CST) has said that it recorded in the 40 days from the initial Hamas attack to November 15, at least 1,324 anti-Semitic incidents across Britain.

That was the highest-ever total over a 40-day period since it began logging incidents in 1984, and compares with 217 reported in the same period in 2022.

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