Embassy riot probe

Police have released images of six suspects following violent demonatrations outside the Israeli Embassy in London in protest against Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

A further 40 protestors are being sought for allegedly attacking officers, damaging property and looting during the rallies on 3 and 10 January in Kensington.

On 3 January, about 2,000 protesters marched to the Israeli Embassy which became the scene of violent clashes. Thirteen people were arrested but police are seeking 17 others.

On 10 January missiles were hurled at officers and a metal barrier was used to smash the window of a Starbucks, which was then looted. Police found a knife was found embedded in the embassy gatepost. Police made 24 arrests on the day but are seeking at least 20 others.

The cost for policing the protests is estimated at ยฃ1 million.

At least 55 officers were injured including one who was knocked unconscious.

A team has been set up to track down the troublemakers using images taken from CCTV and by police cameramen.

The local residents claimed the riots had caused major disruption. Describing the situation, John Cookson, chairman of the Old Court House Residents’ Association, said road closures meant residents had been “sealed” in their homes.

Other missions were targeted, including the Egyptian Embassy, and the Iranian Embassy, which was the scene of a pro-Israeli protest organised by the Zionist Federation during which the tail of a Kassam rocket was presented to the Embassy and some protesters wore Mahmoud Ahmadinejad masks.

Diplomats at the targeted embassies reported receiving abusive and threatening phone calls. Envoys in neighbouring missions said the riots and street cordons had been an inconvenience.