POLICE had to intervene as more than 60 pro-Palestinian demonstrators yesterday tried to disrupt a silent protest by an Israeli theatre group which had its Edinburgh Festival Fringe show cancelled.

Incubator Theatre performed its show The City outdoors in silence yesterday in Edinburgh.

They faced noisy protests and some pro-Palestinian demonstrators lay on the ground as the seven actors, who have funding from Israel's government, performed, saying they had their freedom of speech taken away by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Protests over the hip-hop opera at the Cow Barn in Underbelly in Bristo Square, which disrupted other venues, led to its cancellation.

Michael Galperin, the show manager, is still trying to find an alternative venue. He said: "We did the whole show, an hour-and-a-half. We were silent, but there were counter-protests from the Palestinian protesters who weren't silent at all."

He added: "We just want to get the message across that we got cancelled for political reasons."

Underbelly said it had not been possible to find a venue "viable for the show and for the security of the audience".

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said the Fringe "is underpinned by our open access principles … We are therefore deeply saddened when any artist or show is prevented from taking part in the Fringe. We have done what we can to support Underbelly and Incubator Theatre."

It added: "We support the right of all participants of the Fringe and members of the public to hold and express differing political views, but we also believe in an artist's right to freedom of expression.

l Around 2000 people demonstrated in Edinburgh yesterday to demand an end to the "slaughter of the innocents" in Gaza.

Demonstrators joined a rally at the Mound in Edinburgh as part of a a day of protest by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Speakers included Green MSP Alison Johnstone and representatives from Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and Stop the War.