Sheffield Council wants to be first to recognise Palestine as a state

Leading Sheffield councillors want to make the council the first to recognise Palestine as a state.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 17:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 17:25 pm
Councillors join the Campaign for Palestine gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall to protest after the council refused to debate their petition..Pic Steve Ellis

It follows a petition by Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine which gathered with nearly 20,000 signatures.

Campaigners protested outside the Town Hall ahead of a full council meeting, where the petition was presented. 

Councillors Mazher Iqbal and Bob Johnson joining the campaign to recognise Palestine as a state...Pic Steve Ellis

Julie Pearn, of Labour Friends of Palestine, said: “The time for recognition is long over due. The state of Palestine is already recognised by 138 other nations. 

“We believe public recognition of the Palestine state by the council would be a powerful and influential statement of solidarity which we hope other councils will envy. 

Councillor Olivia Blake, deputy leader, said a motion would now be put forward for the council to make a decision.

She said: “We must give recognition of the right for all communities to have their own sovereign states.

“Sheffield is just one city but we can make this symbolic gesture and hope to put pressure on government to do likewise.”