Gaza solidarity protest held in Dundalk
A protest that was held in Dundalk on Friday in solidarity with the people of Palestine, heard calls for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador out of Ireland as well as a boycott of Israeli goods and services. Over 60 protesters were killed on one day alone last week by Israeli forces, with many more injured.
The protest was held by Dundalk Sinn Féin at the Market square, where 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”, said Councillor Ó’Murchú, “Turkey have recalled their ambassador and sent the Israeli Ambassador home. We need to do the same.”
In a statement released following the protest in Dundalk, Cllr Ó’Murchú referred to a claim made earlier in the week by Taoiseach Leo Varadker, where the Taoiseach said 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?”
The Sinn Féin councillor continued, “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."
In his statement, the Dundalk councillor shared the following statistics about conditions in Gaza:
- 95% of the water is undrinkable
- 4 hours per day of electricity
- 45% unemployment
- 46% of children suffer acute anaemia
- 2 million people are denied freedom of movement
Cllr Ó'Murchú said that "the worst point of all, and the most shocking, is that 50% of children have expressed no will to live.”
The councillor 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.
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.”