Couple arrested over ‘bloody handprints’ Gaza protest at Downing Street

Married pair said government had 'blood on its hands' after refusing to demand Israel end its bombing of Gaza

A man is detained outside Downing Street in London following a protest against the Israel-Gaza war. PA
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Police have arrested a married couple after they poured fake blood and put “bloody handprints” on the gates outside Downing Street in a protest demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after paint was thrown at the gates, Metropolitan Police said.

Campaign group FigTree named Virginia Moffat, 58, and Chris Cole, 60, as the arrested pair.

The couple, from Dorset, said the government had “blood on its hands” after refusing to demand that Israel end its bombing of Gaza, according to a statement by FigTree.

The Christian protesters called it “a massacre of biblical proportions”.

“Britain’s and Israel’s justification for this slaughter is that Israel is acting in ‘self-defence’; that the deaths of innocents are to be regretted, but Israel must be allowed to act in its own defence,” Ms Moffat and Mr Cole said in a statement.

“This is nonsense. Again and again, leading international lawyers have clearly stated that ‘self-defence’ cannot justify the slaughter of so many innocent Palestinians.”

“As bombs rain down on Gaza, destroying homes, hospitals, families, schools, cultural centres, mosques, churches and civic buildings, we cannot help but act,” they added.

“By refusing to back a ceasefire, and continuing to supply arms to Israel, our government is complicit with this slaughter.”

The incident occurred at around 11.45am on Friday, according to the Met Police.

“We have been clear that we will facilitate lawful protest but where this strays into criminality we will take swift action,” Chief Superintendent Joseph Mcdonald said.

“Arrests were made within minutes of this incident taking place and both people are now in custody.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101 or ‘X’ @MetCC and quote CAD2366/29Dec.

Updated: December 29, 2023, 6:00 PM