Stand by the people of Palestine – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called again on the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador and to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on 17th May on the recent mass killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces Teachta Adams said:

“The refusal of the Cabinet to do no more than issue a call for an independent investigation into the dreadful events in Palestine is in reality a call to do nothing.

“We are all aware of the mass killings of Palestinian protestors. The government has rightly repudiated the Israeli government actions. But the Taoiseach claims that to expel the Israeli Ambassador is against the principle and imperative of dialogue. Not true.

“Recently the government expelled a Russian diplomat not for any alleged wrong doing in this state but in solidarity with the British government.

“So, the Taoiseach and the Minister should stop finding excuses for not taking positive action that gives meaningful expression to the rejection by the Irish people of the treatment of the people of Palestine.

“There is no excuse for the government not formally recognising the state of Palestine as agreed by the Dáil and Seanad. If the Irish don’t stand by the Palestinians who will? If we as a former colony, still occupied in part by a government we don’t want; if we with our history of freedom fighters and resistance and our peace process; if we don’t uphold the rights of the Palestinians who will?

“Their land is being slowly stolen from them. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live on Palestinian land in violation of UN resolutions. Their water rights are taken. They live in poverty and disadvantage, with no rights to freedom of movement. Our government’s stance is a cop out.

“What is Sinn Féin asking for? We are asking for our government to demand that the international community uphold international law. The muted words of condemnation are insufficient.

“I have visited the Middle East five times in recent years. I have spoken to Israeli leaders and citizens and Palestinian leaders and citizens. I have been in Gaza City and the west Bank. I have been in the refugee camps, spoken to children released after years in Israeli prisons, spoken to their parents who despair at the neglect of the international community, and walked along the abhorrent separation wall which cuts Palestinian families off from their land.

“Those Palestinian academics and others who organised the recent series of protests to mark 70 years of the Nakba, took as their example the non-violent campaigns of Martin Luther King and of Ghandi. The protests in Gaza were the Palestinian equivalent of the March to Selma. A peaceful, mass protest at an injustice ignored for 70 years.

So, the government’s options are clear. Talk a lot but do nothing. Or expel the Israeli Ambassador. Stop ignoring the democratic will of the Dáil. Recognise the state of Palestine as you recognise the state of Israel. And stand up for peace in the Middle East by standing by the Palestinians”

Conor Murphy MLA to Address Newry Palestine Rally

Conor Murphy MLA

Sinn Féin Newry & Armagh MLA  Conor Murphy will address a rally in Newry City on Saturday organised by the Irish Friends of Palestine Newry & Mourne  in solidarity with the people of Gaza following the massacre of sixteen Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military last Friday.

The Sinn Féin MLA said: “The international community watched in outrage as Palestinians taking part in legitimate protests at the border on Friday were fired upon by the Israeli military, killing at least 16 and wounding hundreds of others.

“Statements from the Israeli military in the aftermath of this massacre are reminiscent of those of the British army after Bloody Sunday.

“There can be no doubt, what happened in Gaza was nothing short of a massacre. The international community has consistently failed to defend the rights of the Palestinian people who face flagrant human rights abuses on a daily basis, this needs to change. Israel must be held accountable for this atrocity.

“I am urging the Irish government to finally take a stand against Israeli aggression and violence. An Taoiseach should expel the Israeli Ambassador and officially recognise the state of Palestine as approved by the Dáil in 2014. There can be no further delay.

“I will be addressing a rally outside Newry Town Hall organised by the Friends of Palestine this Saturday 7 April at 12pm.”

Cllr Ó Murchú Urges People to Support Palestinian Child Prisoners

Dundalk Sinn Féin will hold an awareness/solidarity protest at the Market Square in Dundalk on Saturday 17th February at 1pm to highlight the plight of Palestinian child prisoners that are being held in Israeli detention.

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú said “every year there are approximately 500-700 Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Some of these children are as young as twelve and the most common charge levied against them is stone throwing and three out of every four children experience physical violence through their arrest, transfer or interrogation. For a child convicted of stone throwing, the potential maximum sentence they face is 10 – 20 years depending on their age.”

Cllr Ó Murchú is asking everyone to attend the protest on Saturday 17th February and show their support for these children.

As of December 2017 there were 350 Palestinian children in detention and interestingly, not one Israeli child has ever come before this military court system.

16 year old Ahed Tamimi under arrest

Cllr Ó Murchú said “among these 350 Palestinian children that are currently being held is a young lady called Ahed Tamimi. Just before Christmas Ahed’s cousin 15 year old Mohammed Tamimi was shot at close range with a plastic bullet fired by an Israeli

15 year old Mohammed Tamimi

soldier. The bullet entered his skull leaving Mohammed in an induced coma and facing a seven hour operation.  About an hour later a very brave 16 year old Ahed Tamimi challenged heavily armed Israeli troops that were on her family’s land and slapped one of them. Ahed Tamimi was arrested and is in custody awaiting a military trial. If convicted she faces between 10 – 14 years in an Israeli prison. Ahed turned 17 a couple of weeks ago.”

“We are asking everyone to look at their own children, imagine if that was happening here in Dundalk. Imagine you had no voice to cry out against the injustice of it. Come to the Market Square on Saturday 17th February and show your support for Ahed and all the children that are being held. We need to be their voice.”

Cllr Ó Murchú also called on the Irish Government to “implement the Oireachtas decision taken in 2014 to recognise the State of Palestine and to upgrade the Palestinian Mission in Dublin to that of a full Embassy. If we are to make a meaningful change to what is happening in the Middle East then Governments need to speak up as do the international community.

‘Support Palestinian Prisoners’ Protest on Wednesday

Louth Sinn Féin have organised a protest for Wednesday afternoon at 4pm at the Market Square in Dundalk to highlight the plight of Palestinian prisoners.

1,500 Palestinian political prisoners launched a mass hunger strike on 17th April and say they are determined to fast until the death or until they get basic demands as conditions in the Israeli prisons deteriorate to a new low.

There are currently 6,500 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel including more than 500 ‘administrative detainees’.  These are detainees that have been arrested on ‘secret evidence’ and are not aware of what they are accused of and are not allowed to even defend themselves in court.

A spokesperson for Louth Sinn Féin said “we are concerned and want to highlight the contravention of International Humanitarian Law, which says that prisoners from

file photo from Dundalk 2014

occupied territories must be held in that occupied territory. That law is being broken here, these prisoners are being held in Israel and their families are regularly being denied entry into Israel, so the prisoners are further isolated from family and support.”

The spokesperson continued “as we approach the 36th anniversary of Bobby Sands, I would ask everyone to attend the protest on Wednesday at 4pm and show your support for the Palestinian prisoners and highlight the injustice of their situation. We went through it before in 1981, show your solidarity for these hunger strikers in 2017.”

Their demands include:

  • Installation of a public telephone to allow communication with their families
  • To resume bi-monthly family visits
  • To increase the duration of the visits
  • Allow prisoners to take photographs with their families
  • To end deliberate ‘medical negligence’  (more than 50 prisoners have died owing to medical negligence inside Israeli jails)

 

Wednesday, 26th April, Market Square, Dundalk at 4pm – Everyone Welcome

 

Adams urges Taoiseach to recognise the state of Palestine

DSC_3254_6510Speaking in the Dáil yesterday Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD challenged the Taoiseach to “stand up now and formally recognise the state of Palestine. It does not need legislation it only needs for the Taoiseach to take that decision. I invite him to keep to his Government’s commitment to act in the letter and the spirit of the Oireachtas motion of two years ago and to formally recognise the state of Palestine.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The Taoiseach’s reply was vague and unacceptable. We were told that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is concluding work on this issue. But no timeframe for that was given.

The programme for Government states that the Government will “honour our commitment to recognise the State of Palestine”. Two years ago next month the Dáil and Seanad voted to do this. The government has failed to act on this.

Since the beginning of this year 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank have been demolished. As a result, 1,062 people, including 553 minors, are homeless. In the last 15 years’ Israeli authorities have destroyed approximately 150 internationally funded development projects. This has cost the EU an estimated €58 million.

Among the demolitions were a farming project in the Jordan Valley, a playground near Nablus and a primary school serving a Bedouin community east of Jerusalem. At the same time Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied west Bank.

In recent months there has also been a marked increase in the number of UN and NGO officials being denied entry into Gaza or the west Bank to work on internationally supported projects.

The Taoiseach has been in Gaza and I have been there. It is not a pleasant experience. Imagine living there.

On September 26th I raised this issue of recognition of the state of Palestine with the Taoiseach. Nothing happened.

Previously on June 8th I raised this same issue with the Taoiseach. At that time I was told that the Taoiseach would ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to brief me and the Taoiseach agreed that it “might be no harm if we had a debate on the Palestinian situation in due course”.

Neither the Taoiseach or the Minister for Foreign Affairs have come back to me on this issue nor has the government allotted any time for a debate on the issue of Palestine. It is long past time that this state formally recognised the state of Palestine. The rights of the Palestinian people to statehood should not be dictated by Israeli opposition.”