London’s Metropolitan Police faced a storm of criticism on Friday when it welcomed an Israeli police delegation a week after the Israeli military killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and mourned her funeral.
Hackney Police said on Twitter that it was “delighted” to host Israel’s delegation, which added that officers from Stamford Hill Police, a sub-district of Hackney, were also on patrol.
The visit comes a week after Israeli forces shot dead Abu Akhleh while covering a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Israeli forces faced further condemnation and scrutiny during the funeral procession for Abu Akleh, where videos showed police officers beating up attendees and pallbearers.
The Muslim Association of Britain, a UK-based organisation that has been active in engaging with the wider British public, slammed the visit, calling it “indefensible”.
NetPol, a police monitoring network, also criticised the visit, writing on Twitter: “Less than a week after Israeli Police beat mourners at the funeral of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, why on earth is Hackney Police hosting a delegation of Police from Israel? What on earth are they hoping to learn from each other?”
Pro-Palestine activists based in Hackney, who has repeatedly campaigned at factories for Israel’s largest private arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems, also criticised the visit.
Palestine Action, a direct action group, calling for the shutdown of Elbit, tweeted: “Alongside increasing direct actions against Israel’s arm[s] trade at Elbit’s London HQ offices in Holborn, Hackney Police host Israeli Police delegations.
No doubt exchanging their tactics of oppression & coordinating the persecution of activists & Palestinians alike. #ShutElbitDown”