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Campaigners protesting at Puma offices joined by member of Palestinian national team

CAMPAIGNERS protesting outside Puma offices in Manchester on Saturday against at the sports brand’s support for Israeli apartheid were joined by a member of Palestine’s national team. 

Hundreds of demonstrators targeted Puma stores in more than 30 towns and cities across Britain, including Bournemouth, Birmingham, Halifax, Hastings, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Norwich, to demand that Puma end its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association.

Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak travelled from his home in London to join the Manchester protest — and even took part in a five-a-side football kick-about between teams of campaigners.

Mr Sarsak spent three years in an Israeli prison after he was accused being an active member of Islamic Jihad, which he denies, although he was not charged with any offence.

He was released from prison in 2012 after staging a three-month hunger strike.

Norma Turner of Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “Puma continues to sponsor the Israel Football Association, [which] operates in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinian people.

“As one of the world’s top athletic brands, Puma’s sponsorship brings international legitimacy to the IFA and helps sustain the infrastructure of illegal Israeli settlements and Israel’s ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian population.”

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