Support the People of Palestine – Ó Murchú

Dundalk Sinn Féin held a protest on Friday at the Market square in solidarity with the people of Palestine. Speaking at the event Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú repeated calls to expel the Israeli Ambassador out of Ireland and formally recognise the State of Palestine.

“There have been mass killings of Palestinians this week by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the world is standing by. Turkey have recalled their ambassador and sent the Israeli Ambassador home. We need to do the same.”

Earlier this week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed that to expel the Israeli Ambassador was against the principle and imperative of dialogue. Cllr Ó Murchú refuted that claim and said “the Irish government only recently expelled a Russian diplomat on no evidence whatsoever, just at the behest of the British Government, who let’s face, are not exactly a reliable source. So when they are faced with all this evidence of brutal slaughter of innocent Palestinians, suddenly they have a problem expelling the Israeli ambassador?”

“We need to stand with the people of Palestine and the onus is on our government to formally recognise the state of Palestine as agreed by the Dáil and the Seanad. Israeli settlers are stealing and living on Palestinian land and it seems that the world is standing idly by.

“Palestinians are living under constant siege. Remember, Gaza is about the same size as County Louth.

  • 95% of their water is undrinkable
  • They are ‘allowed’ 4 hours per day of electricity
  • 45% unemployment
  • 46% of children suffer acute anemia
  • 2 million people are denied freedom of movement

And the worst point of all, and the most shocking, is that 50% of children have expressed no will to live.

Councillor Ó Murchú has a motion before Louth County Council this month calling for Louth to be free from goods and services produced in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

Young Activist at a previous protest

He said “I am asking everyone who supports Palestine and opposes the slaughter that is happening, to boycott Israeli goods. We opposed apartheid in South Africa through boycott and now we can oppose apartheid in Palestine through the same method.

“Check your produce when you are shopping. Fruit and vegetables origins are stated on packaging and Israeli bar codes start with 729. Show your support, do your bit, stand against apartheid and slaughter, stand with Palestine.”

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