Hundreds of pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protestors faced off in front of Downing St. on Wednesday, in light of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's scheduled visit to the United Kingdom.
Some 400 pro-Palestinian protestors, some with Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hezbollah flags and emblems, shouted chants calling Netanyahu a "war criminal" and calling for his arrest, AFP reports; they were countered by a mere 100 pro-Israeli protestors.
Police officers at the scene placed the total number of protestors at some 1,500, however, in comments to the British Jewish Chronicle – with a 2:1 ratio of pro-Palestinians to pro-Israelis. At least one pro-Israeli protestor blew a shofar during the demonstration.
The faceoff grew heated, with several minor scuffles reported with police; at least one man was arrested at the scene for claiming that Jews love money.
The protests erupted just as a petition calling for Netanyahu's arrest as he arrived on UK soil reached 100,000 signatures on Saturday.
The signatures forced the UK to issue an official response, in which Prime Minister David Cameron defended Israel's rights to defend itself and noted that "visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.”
Israel's embassy in London called the latest petition a "meaningless publicity stunt."