Pro-Palestinian activists barred off an Ahava store in London’s Covent Garden on
Monday, forcing the store to close for the day.
Two activists reportedly
locked themselves to a cement-filled barrel at the entrance to the property and
remained there until police arrived to remove them. The two protesters were
subsequently arrested on charges of aggravated trespassing and taken away by
police. They are currently being held in a central London police station. The
store has since reopened for business.
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Ahava, which sells beauty products
featuring Dead Sea minerals, has been the target of blockades and protests in
the past because activists claim the company’s wares are manufactured in an
illegal settlement on disputed land and accuse the company of displacing the
local Palestinian population.
Last year, a group of four anti- Israel
protesters locked themselves to concrete blocks inside the same location on two
separate occasions in September and December of 2009, forcing the store to close
for most of the day. In August, they were acquitted of all related charges after
the store manager failed to attend the court hearing.
On Sunday, the
Jewish community organized a “Buycott” campaign in support of the store and in
response to calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.
Advertising the event
on Facebook, customers received a 10 percent discount and Ahava said that they
enjoyed a huge increase in business.