Two officers stripped the outside of Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, North London of flyers of the missing innocents.
Residents in the area, which is home to a sizeable Jewish community, slammed the officers’ ‘disgusting’ actions’.
But the Met has insisted they were merely taking steps to ‘stop issues escalating’ and to ‘avoid community tension’. In a statement, the force said that the posters had been put up in ‘retaliation’ for comments made about the Israel-Hamas war by a member of staff at the chemist.
Images on X show the chemist’s CEO, Haasan Khan, retweeting posts by an apparent colleague branding Israel and the IDF as ‘filthy animals’ and calling for Israel’s enemies Iran and Hezbollah to get involved in the conflict. The account appears to have since been deleted, and Mr Khan later issued a statement apologising on behalf of the company.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism accused the Met of a ‘double standard’ by ‘turning a blind eye to extremists’ in pulling down the posters. A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The very same day that central London again became a no-go zone for Jews, how is it that the Met Police thinks tearing down posters of abducted children while allowing people to call for ”Jihad” and ”Intifada” is the right approach to easing communal tensions?’
‘This is not the first time in this period that the police have gone after images of children taken captive by Hamas while turning a blind eye to extremists with barely disguised sympathy for terrorism. It is hard not to see a double standard at play here.’
It comes as the Met has come under fire for failing to clampdown on Islamism and extremism at pro-Palestine protests on the streets of London. Last weekend, protesters were seen carrying effigies of dead babies, and earlier this month extremists led a rally calling for ‘jihad’.
Fury has erupted in north London after Met Police officers pulled down posters of kidnapped Israeli children to avoid inflaming tensions
Video widely-shared to social media showed two officers standing outside Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, stripping the outside of the building from flyers of the innocent missing civilians
Residents of the local area, home to a sizeable Jewish community, were quick to react to the video, slamming the actions of the officers ‘disgusting’
A Met Police spokesperson said: ‘We recognise why people are concerned about this photo and want an explanation. Below is what we know about what led to the officers doing what they did.
‘The posters were put up late on Saturday night. We received at least two calls about it from local residents.
‘They believed the posters were put on these specific shutters as a retaliation for comments about the conflict between Israel and Hamas that were made on social media by a person associated with the business.
‘It appears print outs of those comments may also have been put up next to the posters.
‘Both people who reported the posters to us were concerned that it would escalate an already tense situation. Officers went to the shop and acting in good faith they removed the posters in an effort to prevent any such escalation.
‘The removal of these posters elsewhere in London has caused anger and upset in recent weeks. We know a photo of our officers doing the same will cause further concern, particularly for anyone not aware of the full facts reported to us at the time.’We have no wish to limit the rights of anyone to protest or to raise awareness of the plight of those kidnapped and the terrible impact on their families.
‘But we do have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to stop issues escalating and to avoid any further increase in community tension. On this occasion, that is what officers were trying to do.
‘We’re in contact with local partners, community representatives and those directly involved in this incident. Officers are listening to and reflecting on any concerns raised with us.
‘We are also assessing the content of the comments made on social media to identify any potential offences.’
Local residents were left furious with the posts and removal of posters, with many calling to boycott the business.
One wrote: ‘To think of the Jewish community who flocked to this Cullimore Chemist during the pandemic. Boycott Cullimore Chemist. Please take your business elsewhere’, another wrote.
Another sais: ‘Name and shame. The owner of Cullimore chemist in Edgware posting anti semitic material. This our police response to a few kidnapped posters of babies. If only there was a law that could have been used last Saturday ………’
Taking to Facebook, Hassan Khan shared a statement on behalf of the chemist team. He claimed that the posts, shared from an account with his name on social media, were posted by a ‘former employee’.
He wrote: ‘To our valued community and others who have been affected by the recent activity on our social media.
‘We have recently been made aware of certain posts shared on social media by a former employee. We want to unequivocally express that these views and statements do not reflect the ethos, beliefs, or values of our company. We deeply regret the distress or confusion these posts may have caused. We had provided a strict content plan to the employee but they decided to take matters into their own hands and share content that was out of the scope of their job.
‘At Cullimore Chemist we have always maintained an impartial stance on all social, economic, and political matters worldwide. We believe in fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and understanding. Our team consists of individuals from diverse backgrounds, and we take immense pride in the rich blend of experiences and perspectives they bring to our organisation.
‘We sincerely apologise to anyone who felt hurt or misrepresented by the aforementioned posts. We will be revisiting our internal guidelines and training processes to ensure that such incidents like this do not recur in the future.
‘Thank you for your understanding and continued support. Together, let’s uphold the spirit of unity, diversity and respect to one another. With sincere regards, The Cullimore Chemist Team.’
It comes after the Metropolitan Police were accused of allowing Central London to become a ‘no-go zone’ for Jews after thousands of people marched in support of Palestine with some seen carrying effigies of dead babies and chanting ‘globalise the Intifada.’
Saturday’s demonstrations marked the third week in a row that the capital has been consumed by the Middle East protests and was marred by several shocking incidents.
In full view of police officers, protesters chanted for the massacre of Jews, bounced effigies of dead babies on flags and called for ‘global intifadas.’
Police made nine arrests in total following the protest, with authorities saying ‘a number’ of these were being treated as linked to hate crimes.
Anger had already erupted last night after a video emerged showing a woman taking part in the pro-Palestine march through London holding an effigy of a dead baby and shouting ‘Slaughter the Jews’.
Thousands of people marched in support of Palestine with some seen carrying effigies of dead babies and chanting ‘globalise the Intifada’
Police officers are appealing for anyone who recognises the woman to come forward
In other shocking videos posted online, protesters can be seen bouncing effigies of dead babies up and down on a Palestinian flag while chanting
Police are appealing for information to identify her and a second woman, who both led the chant in full view of dozens of onlookers.
In other shocking videos posted online, protesters can be seen bouncing effigies of dead babies up and down on a Palestinian flag while chanting.
Another picture taken from the demonstrations yesterday showed a coffin being drawn along by a bike.
The coffin had a message on it that reads: ‘Warsaw Ghetto Genocide – 1943. Gaza Ghetto Genocide 2023.’
In another shocking clip, a collection of young people from the Socialist Workers Party can be seen chanting ‘From London to Gaza. Globalise the intifada.’
In reaction to this weekend’s shocking incidents, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said Londoners should not have to tolerate such extremism every weekend.
They said: ‘[Yesterday] saw yet another day of mass criminality on London’s streets.
‘Law-abiding Londoners, including London’s Jews, expect our police to enforce Britain’s laws and keep us safe.
‘Instead of imposing strict conditions under section 12 of the Public Order Act, the Met has opted for the most permissive conditions, limiting only the route of the march, yet again allowing central London to be transformed into a no-go zone.
‘Londoners cannot and will not tolerate a situation in which every weekend the streets become an exhibition of such extremism.
‘The Met is creating the conditions in which not only London’s Jews but all Londoners could be placed in serious danger.
‘Extremists rarely limit themselves to extreme language. We need action by the authorities responsible for keeping Britain safe.’
The Met’s lack of action was also backed up by ex-Met detective Peter Bleksley who criticised his former force, telling the Sun: ‘This is sick behaviour. The Met said they would crackdown on this sort of thing and quite simply they haven’t. It’s appalling.’
Footage had emerged on social media of two women chanting in Arabic surrounded by a sea of protesters, some of whom looked bemused or confused as if they did not understand, while others actively smiled and even clapped along.
Other protesters chanted ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’
Another picture taken from the demonstrations yesterday showed a coffin being drawn along by a bike
Other footage appeared to show protesters ‘bouncing’ effigies of dead babies on a Palestinian flag
Children were seen just feet away from the two women, one of whom was carrying an object wrapped in a white shroud covered in fake blood which imitated the bodies of dead babies which have come out of Gaza in recent days.
The women appeared to be chanting ‘Khaibar Ya Yahud’, a chant telling Jews to remember an ancient massacre in Khaibar hundreds of years ago in which an entire Jewish settlement was slaughtered.
Meaning ‘Jews, remember Khaibar’, it is now generally seen as a call to kill Jewish people. The Met Police have previously arrested people for similar chants which they say can incite violence.
Releasing a photo of the two women on Saturday night, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Officers investigating a hate crime incident in Trafalgar Square would like to speak to these two women.
‘Anyone who can help us identify them should call 101, giving the reference 6576920/23.
‘Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.’
The Met Police said more than 1,000 officers policed protests in London on Saturday which saw more than 100,000 people throng the streets in solidarity with Palestinians trapped in Gaza.
The march was overwhelmingly peaceful, but several isolated incidents marred the nature of the protests, which were aimed at calling for a ceasefire between Israel and the terror group Hamas to protect civilian life.
More than 1,400 Israelis were killed and more than 200 kidnapped when Hamas launched a surprise incursion into Israeli territory on October 7.
Israel has launched a campaign of bombing in response which health officials in Gaza say has so far killed more than 7,700 people, with IDF forces ramping up activities with raids into northern Gaza over the past 24 hours.