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Protesters gather outside Israeli pharmaceutical firm to call for boycott

PALESTINE solidarity protesters gathered outside an Israeli pharmaceutical firm in Runcorn today to call for a boycott of the firm.

About 30 activists waved Palestinian flags and unfurled a banner reading: “Boycott Teva pharma, no to apartheid drugs.”

Teva is Israel’s biggest pharmaceutical supplier and one of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world.

Last year, Teva paid the Israeli government $565 million (£446m) in taxes accrued from 2005, thus supporting the country’s military, and campaigners have warned that the firm also contributes to settler colonialism by building in occupied Palestine.

Teva is the only firm given access by Israel to operate in the West Bank and Gaza — making Palestinians dependent on their occupier for medicine.

Here in Britain, Teva supplies about 15 per cent of the NHS’s total medicine packs, more than any other firm.

A spokesperson for Youth Front for Palestine, involved in today’s protest, said: “We won’t stand by while British pharmacies are being flooded with medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering and subjugation.

“When it comes to Israel, everything, including pharmaceuticals, is part and parcel of settler colonialism and apartheid.

“Let’s not be fooled by what they market as ‘exceptional, groundbreaking and improving the lives of people’ when it comes at the expense of an entire occupied population.”

The group is calling on people to join hundreds of pharmacies in Britain and across Europe to boycott Teva and not to use and sell medicine “tainted with Palestinian suffering.”

The spokesperson said: “When there are always many alternative medicines available, we should not be getting our medication from an apartheid state, a state now committing genocide in Gaza.”

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