Belfast Telegraph

Belfast councillor to call for Dublin to kick out Israeli envoy

By Andrew Madden

A motion calling on the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador is to be debated at Belfast City Council next week.

Proposed by Sinn Fein's Charlene O'Hara, the motion follows last month's violence in Gaza that left 60 Palestinian demonstrators dead and thousands wounded at the hands of Israeli forces.

In the wake of the violence, Sinn Fein attempted to open a book of condolence for those who died at City Hall. However, the move was thwarted, as it would have required cross-party support and unionists were firmly against it.

Sinn Fein decided to open its own book of condolence in its designated room in City Hall instead.

Other councils across Northern Ireland have already recognised May's events in Gaza.

Two weeks ago, Derry City and Strabane District Council passed a motion to light up the council building in Palestinian colours following the surge in violence, which was widely condemned by the international community.

However, DUP councillor David Ramsey took to Twitter to voice his concern that the move was "really in support of terrorist Hamas in their attempted invasion of Israel".

Councillor O'Hara's motion, which is due to be debated at the annual meeting of Belfast City Council on Monday, also calls on the UN to investigate and bring those responsible for the "genocide" before the courts.

"This council condemns the recent attacks by Israeli forces on protesters, including women and children, in Gaza," the motion will read.

"The council calls upon the United Nations to investigate and place those responsible for genocide before the International Criminal Court and asks that the International Community and the people of Belfast stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

"With Dail Eireann having recognised Palestine as a state, the council calls on the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland."

The Israeli ambassador to Ireland is Zeev Boker.

Belfast Telegraph

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