Sinn Fein councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has called on locals to offer their support
A solidarity protest, organised by Dundalk Sinn Fein, will be held in Market Square in Dundalk on Saturday (February 17th) to highlight the plight of Palestinian child prisoners that are being held in Israeli detention.
Sinn Fein councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú says many children detained for as minor an offence as stone throwing can face maximum prison sentences of up to 20 years, as well as physical violence throughout the arrest and interrogation process.
“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 12 and the most common charge levied against them is stone throwing.
“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.”
The protest, pencilled in for a 1pm start on Saturday February 17th, will focus on the imprisoned teenager Ahed Tamini, who Amnesty International have described as the ‘Rosa Parks of Palestine’.
The teenager, who recently turned 17, was arrested on December 15th hours after her cousin Mohammed was shot at close range by a plastic bullet by an Israeli soldier. He and members of his family had been protesting US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
After challenging Israeli troops who later that day ventured onto her families land - slapping and kicking out at them - Ahed was arrested soon after and now faces trial at an Israeli military juvenile court on counts of aggravated assault, obstructing the work of soldiers and incitement.
“We are asking everyone to look at their own children, imagine if that was happening here in Dundalk,” Ó Murchú added. “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.”
Amnesty International estimates there are currently 350 Palestinian children being held in Israeli prisons and detention centres.