A student union women's officer has denied encouraging support for Hamas just a day after the group's militants entered Israel.

Hanin Barghouthi, 22, is accused of a single count of expressing an "opinion or belief" in support of the banned organisation on October 8.

Activists wearing all-black clothes and masks blocked the press from filming or photographing the student on her way into Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Bridget Fitzpatrick said the alleged offence relates to a four-minute speech at the Clock Tower in Brighton which was allegedly "supportive of the actions of Hamas that had taken place in Israel the day before".

The Argus: A Palestine protest at the Clock Tower in BrightonA Palestine protest at the Clock Tower in Brighton (Image: The Argus)

Police became aware of it after a video began circulating on MailOnline on October 11 and later made enquiries with the website.

Wearing a grey T-shirt and black cardigan, she spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth, address in Brighton and reply "not guilty" when the charge was put to her during the brief hearing.

Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring granted her conditional bail until she appears at the Old Bailey on December 8.

Her bail conditions ban her from obtaining international travel documents or using a mobile phone not authorised by police unless in an emergency, and she must also live and sleep at her address each night.

The Argus: The University of SussexThe University of Sussex (Image: The Argus)

The judge told her: "I am not making any determination today about whether what you did was criminal or not, that is for the jury.
"If an allegation is made that you have attended any demonstration and you are charged with a criminal offence I will remand you in custody."

The Argus: Supporters wearing all black surrounding BarghoutiSupporters wearing all black surrounding Barghouti (Image: PA)

The court heard how Barghouthi, who is women's officer at the Sussex Students' Union, holds "some position of authority" at the University of Sussex.

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Urslaan Khan, 41, appeared at the same court immediately afterwards charged with expressing support for Hamas in a way that was "reckless as to whether a person to whom the expression was directed would be encouraged to support a proscribed organisation" during a demonstration in Whitehall on October 17.

He gave no indication of plea when he appeared in the dock for the short hearing wearing Islamic dress and a green puffer jacket.

Otherwise he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address in Bow, east London, and raised one matter that cannot legally be reported towards the end of proceedings.

The same judge bailed him with five conditions until he appears at the Old Bailey on December 8.

Those conditions ban him from attending any protests, going within 100m of a synagogue or place associated with Jews, and entering the London Borough of Westminster unless to attend court or meetings with lawyers.

He must also attend a police station weekly and live and sleep at his home address each night.

Earlier in October, he hit the headlines when he claimed he had discovered £122,000 in his bank account which had previously had just £1 in it.

He said he was initially told he could keep the money but then had to repay it after a U-turn from his bank.

The offences both defendants are accused of are contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.