High Court rejects attack on local councils standing up for Palestinians

28 June 2016 - 11:30am
Press release

Today the High Court ruled in favour of Swansea, Gwynedd and Leicester councils who in May faced a legal claim over motions passed concerning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. 

Responding to the news, Ryvka Barnard, Senior Campaigner on Militarism and Security at War on Want, said:

“The High Court ruling is a victory for local democracy and freedom of speech. The ruling affirms the right of local councils to act in solidarity with Palestinians and to ensure their policies are in line with international and UK law.      

“Local councils were instrumental in the anti-Apartheid movement in the 1980s, standing in solidarity with South Africans by resolving not to invest in or procure from companies supporting Apartheid. Now some of the same councils are taking action again, this time to end local government complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.

“Attempts to stifle grassroots solidarity with Palestinians will not work. We are confident that this ruling will give confidence to more councils to stand up for justice.”  

The illegal settlements are part of the systematic abuses of international law and human rights committed by Israel against the Palestinians. The UK government has reiterated over and over again that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal, and has issued advice to businesses on the risks of investing in or trading with illegal settlements.

The local councils had taken action to ensure their policies are in line with international and UK law.       


Notes to editors

For more information and interviews contact Ross Hemingway 07983 550 728

Leicester Mercury: Leicester City Council wins West bank boycott judicial review case

Independent: Israel boycott ban: Local councils face legal action at High Court over boycott on Israeli goods made in West Bank

War on Want press release: Shameful attack on local councils respecting international law 



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