South Yorkshire leaders condemn protestors who scaled town hall to replace Israeli flag

Political leaders in South Yorkshire have strongly condemned protestors who scaled the Town Hall to replace an Israeli flag with a Palestinian one during a protest about the escalating violence.
The Israeli flag flew above Sheffield Town HallThe Israeli flag flew above Sheffield Town Hall
The Israeli flag flew above Sheffield Town Hall

Yesterday, people in the sealed-off Gaza strip saw almost continuous air strikes in retaliation to the killing of what the Israeli military says was more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, by Hamas. In Gaza, authorities say 1,055 people have now been killed, as well as 1,500 Hamas militants who the Israeli Defence Force said have been killed.

In Sheffield, the Labour mayor of the city said the protestors “put themselves and others in serious danger”.

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The Star of David state flag flying over the building drew criticism from Green councillors and pro-Palestinian campaigners, and it was taken down by people who climbed the building during a march through the city centre.

Marchers chanted: ”Take it down, Tom”, referring to council leader Coun Tom Hunt.

Coun Hunt said: “Everyone has the right to safe and peaceful protest but we cannot support the events that took place during the protest outside Sheffield’s Town Hall.

“We are a City of Sanctuary and this is not what we stand for.

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“There are strong feelings about the situation in Israel and Palestine but we ask everyone to show respect and tolerance at this time. Our thoughts are with all those affected, including here in the UK.

The Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, also criticised the protest, saying it “does not reflect the values of the region I know”.

However, the local Green Party opposed the raising of the Israeli flag, saying it would have been more appropriate for the council to raise a peace flag to “show our opposition to all acts of terror by whoever commits it.”

It comes as Buckingham Palace said the King was “appalled” by and condemns the “barbaric acts” of terrorism in Israel.

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He was said to be “extremely concerned” about the situation and has asked to be actively updated.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly flew out to the Middle Eastern country, to express the UK’s solidarity, as it was reported that 17 UK nationals are either dead or missing, including children.

He also attacked the BBC over its long-standing editorial decision not to call Hamas militants “terrorists”.

Veteran broadcaster Nick Robinson defended the corporation, saying “No-one watching the reporting of my BBC colleagues in Israel can have any doubt of the horror of what has happened.

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“I understand entirely why some want the word ‘terrorism’ used. It is, though, the long-standing practice of BBC, ITV and Sky to report others using that language rather than using it ourselves.”


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