For 8 days at the start of January two Palestinian women camped outside the Town Hall. Lena Mussa and Sahar Awadallah were supported by many hundreds of Sheffield people – who came to visit or stay with them throughout the day and night. One of the demands made by the two women was for the council to declare Sheffield an Israeli Apartheid Free zone and take action to ensure none of its operations can have ties with Israel. As the council prepares to have its first full meeting of 2024 on 7th February, pressure is increasing for it to take action.
Hundreds of workers will take action February 7th to take part in a Workplace action for Gaza – whether it is talking to their colleagues, wearing a badge or walking out, the genocide in Gaza will be on the workplace agenda.
Meanwhile, the support Lena and Sahar received has not diminished: quite the opposite in the wake of the International Court of Justice ruling stating it is plausible that Israel’s acts amount to genocide.
Lena Mussa, one of the women who camped out in front of the town hall at the sart of the year, told us “After the ICJ ruled effectively that Israeli action amount to Genocide, finally we can see Israel will be tried for genocide and is under investigation. We ask Sheffield to declare itself an Israeli apartheid free zone. “
Annie O’Gara, spokesperson for the Sheffield Palestine Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, told us “There must be at a minimum a formal statement, declaring it will break all links – financial, social and educational , very similar to the one it made in May 1981 by the Sheffield Council about South Africa, when Sheffield became the first council to declare itself an apartheid free zone.”