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TRADE UNION leaders called for sanctions on Israel today as thousands took part in protests across the country against its illegal annexation plans.
Over 100 co-ordinated demonstrations were held from Brighton to Durham in a national day of action organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) against Israel’s plans to annex large swathes of the West Bank.
Protesters were calling on the British government to impose sanctions in response to the flagrant violation of international law, which ministers have so far refused to do.
Trade unionists, MPs and anti-war campaigners were among those supporting the action on Saturday, with Unite general secretary Len McCluskey demanding Israel be “held to account for its continued violations of international law.”
“Israel’s plans to proceed with annexation make it clear they have no intention of allowing the Palestinian people to realise their core collective rights including the right to self-determination,” he continued.
“We stand in solidarity with them and join the call for the UK government to respond with sanctions.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis and Labour MPs Richard Burgon, Jeremy Corbyn and Clive Lewis posted pictures of themselves supporting the action on social media holding signs reading: “StopAnnexations” and “SanctionsNow.”
In Herne Hill, south London, local Labour activists, PSC campaigners and Jewish Voice for Labour gathered outside Brockwell park, chanting: “Stop the invasion, no to annexation!”
One organiser, Robyn Dasey, told the Morning Star that the protests were important to show opposition to a “blatant transgression of international law and invasion of a foreign country.
“Although these plans are a culmination of many many invasive acts that Israel governments have taken on the West Bank and Gaza over many years, it is forcing countries to translate words into action.
“Palestinian civil society demand for sanctions on Israel — at very least trade boycott of goods from illegal Israeli settlements — but more a two-way cessation of the arms trade.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had aimed to start plans to annex 30 per cent of the West Bank, including the resource-rich Jordan Valley and illegal settlements, from July 1.
Saturday’s protests also saw gatherings in Cambridge, Oxford, London, Bradford, Manchester, Oldham, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Northampton, Cardiff, Luton, Liverpool and Wiltshire.
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