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Suspended subway driver who sparked fury by leading anti-Israel chant ‘free Palestine’ on underground train apologizes – amid calls for him to be sacked

A suspended subway driver who led an anti-Israel «free Palestine» chant on an underground train has apologized as anti-Semitism campaigners demand he be sacked.

In footage posted online, the driver can be heard saying «free free» eight times over the train’s loudspeaker system, prompting passengers to respond with «Palestine» – a popular chant at the demonstrations.

Many passengers on the Central Line are believed to have been heading to an anti-Israel march in London on October 21 when the chants took place.

The driver told passengers: ‘So, as I feel a part of it, please join me when we go to Bond Street,’ before urging passengers to be ‘louder, please, louder!’

The incident sparked fury among Jewish activists who demanded that the unidentified driver be fired for his «grossly unprofessional» behavior.

British Transport Police detectives launched an investigation after a public outcry over the chant led to Transport for London suspending the driver.

In a letter of apology handed to Jewish groups by TfL, the driver said: “I would like to apologize for the impact my actions had on my customers and the wider community that day.

“It was never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable and I apologize unreservedly for any offense that may have been caused.

«I am determined to learn from this experience.»

However, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism felt the apology did not go far enough and described the incident as «a disgrace to TfL».

The pro-Palestinian demonstrations were marred by controversy, with some protesters holding obnoxious signs with the Nazi symbol and photographs of Hitler. There have been numerous arrests of people accused of possessing offensive signs.

In footage posted online, the driver can be heard saying «free free» eight times over the train’s loudspeaker system, prompting passengers to respond «Palestine».

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Many passengers traveling on the Central Line are believed to have been heading to the anti-Israel march in London on October 21 when the chants took place.

Responding to the apology letter, the campaign group told The Sun: “His behavior was grossly unprofessional.

“Imagine being a Jewish person on the train, not only intimidated by the protesters around you, but knowing that you may not be able to rely on the very TfL staff tasked with your safety.

This incident was an embarrassment to TfL and came at a time of heightened tension, it was downright dangerous.

Conservative London mayoral candidate Susan Hall also backed calls to sack the driver for his «outrageous» behaviour.

However, the apology was accepted by Andrew Gilbert of the London Jewish Forum, who said the letter showed «genuine remorse» and added that he was «very satisfied» with how the British Transport Police and TfL had handled the situation.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police after the Hamas attack on Israel in October rose to more than 13 times the number for the same period in 2022, new figures have revealed.

The force recorded a total of 679 anti-Semitic offenses between 7 October and 7 November 2023, inclusive, compared with 50 in the same period the previous year and 81 in 2021.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at Barclays branches across the UK yesterday to protest the alleged funding of Israeli attacks.

Demonstrators have organized a «day of action» where they will protest outside the bank’s 54 branches, demanding an end to what they say is Barclays’ «funding» of Israeli attacks on Palestine.

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