Woman mounts hunger strike in Sheffield over Israel-Palestine war

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A makeshift-camp in support of Palestine has been set up outside Sheffield Town Hall, with a woman on hunger strike.

Protesters are ‘angry’ at the UK’s response to the Israel-Palestine war.

Erected on Friday, January 5, the camp is planned to withstand the cold until Saturday, January 13.

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The peaceful protesters played traditional music and shared artwork yesterday as they interacted with passers-by.

On Sunday they were visited by both Labour and Green councillors who listened to their demands – for Sheffield Council to declare Sheffield an apartheid free zone, the UK government to investigate bringing criminal charges against British citizens who have joined the Israeli army, and for an immediate ceasefire and for a political solution to be found to end the ongoing war.

Lena Mussa, aged 52, from Sheffield, is leading the protests after starting a hunger strike on Saturday which will last until the end of the camp as she tries to “protest in a different way”.

Lena, who is an immigration and human rights lawyer herself, told The Star that she wants to do more to help stand in solidarity with the victims of the ongoing war which saw more than 100 people die on Saturday alone (January 6).

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Lena said: “We have family that have been killed, family that we couldn’t meet and family that we planned to meet and we only called on Skype, now we will never see them now.”

Sahar Awadullah is also currently living at the camp.

She highlighted the importance of the UK in working diplomatically with Israel to secure humanitarian aid and ‘de-escalate’ the situation.

Lena explained that she was very ‘touched’ by the response from the Sheffield public during her time at the camp so far.

She said: "People have been amazing, they’ve lifted our spirits up.”

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Those at the camp have been offered food, hot drinks and camping equipment by members of the public to make sure that they stay comfortable during their time on the streets.

The protest is being supported by the Sheffield Palestine Coalition Against Israel Apartheid.

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