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 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.
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.