Police say “no offences committed” during Gaza demos

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The PSNI in Derry have said they are satisfied that no offences were committed during recent ‘Free Gaza’ protests in the city.

Earlier in the week, a delegation from the DUP had requested a meeting with police over what they described as “serious questions around anti-Israel protests” in the city.

However police in Foyle have said they’re now satisfied that any protests which have taken place were not disruptive and said that future protests would be policed in a “proportionate manner.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police in Foyle had a useful and productive meeting with DUP representatives and discussed a number of issues surrounding recent Gaza protests in the city centre.

“On Saturday July 26 a notified parade took place in the city centre, during which some participants lay down on Shipquay Street. This delayed the parade for about two minutes. Police are satisfied that no offences were committed as a result of this delay. The Parades Commission did not issue a determination in respect of this parade.”

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows, the Area Commander, added: “Our main priorities are to keep people safe and to ensure that parades are peacefully conducted within the law and in accordance with any Parades Commission determinations that may apply.

“We police all public events in a proportionate manner. We would encourage those involved in demonstrations, parades or protests of any kind to show dignity and respect, but ultimately we will uphold the law.”

Senior DUP representatives had asked for a meeting with police and asked them to “make their position clear” over ongoing demonstrations in the city.

The DUP had also sought reassurances from the Parades Commission regarding their notification process and the “legality of such protests and parades.”

Further protests have been planned by a number of groups in the city over the coming days. On Saturday, the names of Palestinian children killed by Israeli bombs in Gaza will be read out at a demonstration.

Last week, Derry City Council passed a motion condemning the “appalling loss of life,” in Gaza. This was opposed by Unionist councillors who said it was one sided.