Cllr Joanna Byrne:Louth County Council stands in Solidarity with Palestine

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne passed a motion at Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council calling on the Government to recognise the state of Palestine.

Speaking on her motion Cllr Byrne stated “This government needs to send a strong message of its opposition to the proposed annexation of the West Bank which is in violation of International Law and will in effect make a two state solution in the area unviable.

“The Programme for Government commits to play a strong role in promoting peace and international partnership through the United Nations and other international organisations and to protect human rights in every state. In that context Ireland needs to ensure we use our position on the UN Security Council to challenge in the strongest terms the proposed annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel which has been roundly condemned as a flagrant violation of international law.”

Cllr Byrne went on to say that since originally submitting her motion “a deal had been brokered with Israel and the United Arab Emirates whereby Israel agreed to take annexation off the table in return for diplomatic acceptance and a normalisation of relations between Israel and UAE. However, on August 13th Israel’s Netanyahu reneged and said he didn’t agree to take annexation off the table, merely to just put it on hold but it is his intention to go ahead with it at a later date.”

Very firm in her statements Cllr Byrne told the chamber that “In the meantime, Israel has maintained sustained attacks on Palestine and the Israeli blockades on fuel supply have forced the closure of Gaza’s only power supply plant. The economic crisis is deepening, the destruction of homes continue and land seizures in East Jerusalem continue.”

The Palestinian Government have outlined that annexation will mean:

  • The removal of the asset and resource rich Jordan Valley from the State of Palestine;
  • The isolation and suffocation of East Jerusalem, the Palestinian capital;
  • The denial of Palestinian control over use of land and natural resources;
  • The prevention of efficient and free movement of people and goods;
  • An increase of violations of Palestinian rights; 
  • The end of the two-state solution

“We need to stand with the Palestinian people, they need help, this is a major humanitarian crisis and I’m asking the members of Louth County Council here today to stand in Solidarity with Palestine and urge our Government to do the same.”

Councillor Byrne’s motion passed without any opposition.

Text of the Motion:

The members of Louth County Council call on the newly formed Irish Government to make a principled stand for peace and progress in the Middle East by enacting the democratic motion from 2014 to recognise the State of Palestine.

We also urge as a matter of priority, the Government pass the Occupied Territories Bill which was passed in the Seanad in December 2018 and passed the second stage in the Dáil in January 2019 which prohibits ‘the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.