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Palestinian rights campaigners protest against destruction of homes in Sheikh Jarrah

PALESTINIAN rights campaigners demonstrated outside the Israel embassy in London today in protest against destruction of homes in Sheikh Jarrah, east Jerusalem.

Demonstrators called the protest — organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Friends of al-Aqsa, Stop the War, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) among others — “to  remind the Israeli government that its recent expulsion of the Salhiya family from their home will not be ignored.”

The Salhiya family have lived in their Sheikh Jarrah home since 1956 after they were made refugees following the creation of Israel in 1948.

At 3am on January 19, Israeli troops violently arrested them and destroyed their house in the latest chapter of what campaigners have described as the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah and, ultimately, Jerusalem.

Ahead of the protest, PCS director Ben Jamal described the continuing assault on Sheikh Jarrah as “a violent, systematic process of ethnic cleansing.”

He said: “House by house, Palestinians are being driven from their homes as Israel seeks to take over a key neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

“More and more human rights groups are rightly identifying these policies of racial domination as amounting to the crime of apartheid.

“Israel acts with impunity because it believes the world is not watching. It destroys families’ homes under the cover of darkness. But it must be held to account.”

Mr Jamal said the protesters were demanding that the British government, public bodies, companies and corporations “end their complicity with Israel’s system of apartheid.”

He added: “The Salhiya family are not alone — we stand with them.”

CND general secretary Kate Hudson told the Star: “The latest attacks on Sheikh Jarrah are deeply shocking and we must do everything we can to oppose these crimes.

“Regrettably one of our key ways to support the Palestinians is itself under attack — namely the boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign.

“This is a proven and respected means for people to take action against unjust state policies, as we saw with the anti-apartheid movement, yet BDS is under attack at both national and local government levels.

“This is a complete disgrace and is yet another attempt to infringe our democratic right to protest.”


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