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Protesters in UK scale town hall, pull down Israeli flag

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A council leader in England has said “this is not what we stand for’’ after an Israeli flag was pulled down from a town hall flag pole.

Video footage posted on social media showed two people scaling Sheffield town hall during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city centre on Tuesday evening.

The flag was seen to be thrown from the landmark 60-metre high Victorian structure and replaced with the Palestinian flag, to cheers from those gathered below.

Reports that the Israeli flag was subsequently destroyed were not true, according to a Sheffield City Council spokeswoman who said it was handed back to officials from the local authority.

Council leader Tom 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.

“Protesters put themselves and others in serious danger.

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

The incident took place shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday and the council hoisted the Union Jack flag at 8 p.m., a move it said was planned before this happened.

The spokeswoman said the council had displayed the Israeli flag to show solidarity.

She said the decision was taken in line with the authority’s flag protocol and in response a request from the department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to consider doing it.

The spokeswoman said a full review of the incident was being undertaken, including an examination of security measures that were in place, and working with police.

dpa/NAN

 

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