Two teenagers have been charged after “Free Palestine” was written on a Cenotaph in Greater Manchester.

The war memorial in Rochdale was spray painted with the phrase in red paint on November 7.

Greater Manchester Police has charged two men with racially aggravated criminal damage, with one accused of theft. The pair were arrested on Tuesday (November 7).

The force said neither could be identified due to their age, which was also not disclosed. Both have been released on bail.

Since the incident, officers have been stationed at the memorial, which is yards away from the police station.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Round said: “I hope the swift charges provide some reassurance to the public that our investigation is moving at pace.

“I understand the emotional distress that has been caused in the local community by the damage to the cenotaph and our team of detectives will continue working tirelessly to hold those responsible to account.”

The Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also designed the one in Whitehall. It is one of seven outside London and was unveiled in 1922.

The vandalism comes as tens of thousands of activists prepare to march in London on Remembrance Day, despite backlash that labels the protest “disrespectful”.

There have been countless pro-Palestine marches and demonstrations taking place across the UK since Israel increased bombings.

And this is not the first one to be controversial, with a planned march on Remembrance Day sparking anger and being labelled by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as “disrespectful”.

The October 7 attacks by Hamas saw 1,400 Israelis killed and 200 taken hostage. Since the attacks, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli bombings.

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