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MP ‘deeply saddened’ as Israeli twinning signs disappear from Bournemouth roads

The local authority has pledged to replace them as soon as possible.

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Summer weather August 20th 2023

An MP has condemned the disappearance of signs marking the twinning of Bournemouth with an Israeli seaside city as “an act of antisemitic vandalism”.

The road signs which highlight the link between the Dorset resort town with Netanya on the Israeli Mediterranean coast, have disappeared from four locations on roads entering the town.

Now Dorset Police and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council are investigating whether the signs have been stolen.

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Tobias Ellwood has described the disappearance of the signs as an ‘act of antisemitic vandalism’ (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

And the local authority has pledged to replace them as soon as possible.

Tobias Ellwood, the MP for Bournemouth East, said he was “deeply saddened” to see the signs had gone missing.

The Conservative backbencher’s house was targeted in February by pro-Palestinian protesters, with the police warning his family to “stay away” from the property to avoid “antagonising the situation”.

He posted on X: “Deeply saddened to see signs for Bournemouth’s twin city in Israel removed from a number of ‘Welcome to Bournemouth’ posts.

“It’s difficult not to assume this unauthorised removal is connected with current Middle East events.

“I hope the council replaces the ‘Netanya’ signs as soon as possible.

“The deep bond between our two seaside towns is strong and will not be affected by what seems an act of antisemitic vandalism.”

A BCP Council spokeswoman said that the signs had not been removed by the authority and it had informed the police.

The signs were taken from Magna Road, Mountbatten Roundabout, Ringwood Road and New Road.

The spokeswoman said: “Bournemouth remains twinned with Netanya.

“BCP Council has not removed these signs. We have ordered replacement signs and will install them as soon as possible.”

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: “We have been made aware that a number of signs around Bournemouth have been removed and we are liaising with BCP Council to establish the circumstances and identify whether any offences have been committed.”

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