Pro-Palestinian activists blockade Ahava store in London

Police arrest 2 protesters who locked themselves to a cement-filled barrel at shop's entrance; store reopens for business.

Ahava (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Pro-Palestinian activists blockaded an Ahava store in London's Covent Garden on Monday, resulting in temporary closure of the store.
Two activists reportedly locked themselves to a cement-filled barrel at the entrance to the property. Police were called to the store, and the two were subsequently arrested on charges of aggravated trespassing, and taken to a central London police station.
On Sunday, the Jewish community organised a "Buycott" Ahava campaign in support of the store and in response to protests by anti-Israel activists calling 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.
Ahava, producer of Dead Sea beauty products, has been the target of blockades and protests in the past because activists claim its products are manufactured at what they term an illegal settlement on disputed land. The activists accuse the company of having displaced local Palestinian populations.
In August, a group of anti-Israel protesters who chained themselves inside the same store the previous year were acquitted and cleared of all related charges after the store manager failed to attend the court hearing.
The four activists locked themselves to concrete blocks inside the store in London’s Covent Garden on two separate occasions in September and December of 2009, forcing it to close for most of the day.
Jonny Paul contributed to this report.