Thursday 07 December 2023

British hospital forced to remove Gaza children’s artwork

A British hospital in London has taken down a display of artwork designed by a group of Palestinian schoolchildren from the embattled Gaza Strip following a complaint by a local pro-Israel law society.

According to Middle East Eye website, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) said in a recent statement that it had filed a complaint with the hospital on behalf of a number of Jewish patients and succeeded in forcing its administration to remove the Gazan artwork, claiming the patients felt vulnerable and victimized by this Palestinian display.


The artwork contained a display of decorated plates, along with illustrations of their significance and the title of “Crossing Borders – a festival of Plates.”


The display was shown at the entrance to the children’s outpatients’ department at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.


It was designed by a group of children at two schools run by UNRWA in Gaza and transferred onto the plates by children at the Chelsea Community Hospital school.


The caption for one of the display plates was: “The olive branch is the symbol of peace and is used to express the wish for an independent Palestinian state.”


Although it was clearly stated that the drawings were designed by Palestinian children from the Beit Lahia Girls’ School and the Jabalia Prep Boys’ School in Gaza, UKLFI claimed in its complaint that the drawings from Gaza all appear to be professional artwork, in the same style, and carried out by the same person.


UKLFI also said in the complaint that some of the artwork displays “Palestine as covering the entire area of Israel,” while another picture shows “the Dome of the Rock with a large Palestinian flag, implying that Jerusalem and in particular the site of what had been the Jewish Temple, would be part of a Palestinian state,”


The Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque are located in east Beitul-Moqaddas, an area designated by the international law as Israeli-occupied territory, Middle East Eye pointed out in its report.


UKLFI also accused the young students at the two Gaza schools of receiving education that is influenced by Hamas ideology.


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