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Palestine solidarity group in court for landmark case

PALESTINIAN rights campaigners took on the government for the third time yesterday in a landmark case in the Supreme Court.

Campaigners are challenging a ban on the right of local-government pension schemes to divest from companies that prop up Israel’s human-rights abuses.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) initially challenged the government-imposed ban in 2017 and was successful.

But the ruling was later overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2018. 

Yesterday morning, PSC members went head-to-head with the government again in the Supreme Court. 

Palestine Solidarity Campaign chair Kamel Hawwash said: “This landmark case is critical to pushing back against attempts to stifle the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and to defending the right of pension-holders to refuse to be complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

A group of protesters stood outside the courts in London in solidarity with PSC members. 

Campaigners say that they are fighting for the right of individuals to “be able to choose not to be complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights.”

The ban was imposed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which in 2016 issued guidance prohibiting the schemes from divestment against foreign nations.

This included a prohibition against divestment from companies on the basis that they trade in products produced in the occupied Palestinian territories, for example, even if this was the will of the scheme’s members.

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