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Victory for BDS as High Court rules councils can boycott Israel

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A pro-Israel group has lost its legal action against three local authorities who passed resolutions in support of the Palestinians.

Today’s High Court in London ruling in favour of three councils which have boycotted Israeli settlement goods has been hailed as a “victory for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and for democracy”.

The landmark ruling is also a rejection of the Government’s attempts, in February, to stop councils from adopting ethical procurement and investment policies by implying that legal action could be brought successfully against them.

Sara Apps, interim Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said:

“Today’s High Court ruling is an important victory for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and for democracy itself. Councils have been told categorically by the High Court that there is nothing unlawful in ethically boycotting Israeli settlement goods, and PSC welcomes this ruling.

“The UK government’s attempts to intimidate local councils into dropping ethical procurement and investment policies clearly have no legal basis. Councils can legally adopt policies which avoid or end links with Israel’s illegal settlements.

“We applaud Leicester, Swansea and Gwynedd councils for standing up for their democratic right to free speech, and we look forward to working alongside them and other councils who choose to adopt policies in support of Palestinian human rights.”

The case against Leicester, Swansea and Gwynedd city councils was brought by Jewish Human Rights Watch, which has been ordered to pay the legal costs of all three councils.Schermata 2016 06 30 alle 20.45.56

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

Boycott Israeli diamond