Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein want Gaza book of condolence at Belfast City

By Gareth Cross

Sinn Féin’s leader on Belfast City Council, Deirdre Hargey, has formally requested that a book of condolence be opened in Belfast City Hall for victims of recent violence in Gaza.

Councillor Hargey called on Belfast City Council Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie to contact other parties immediately with regard to the equest.

The request comes after a number of Palestinian solidarity protests were held across Northern Ireland on Tuesday following increased violence in the area in recent weeks.

Protests were held in west Belfast, Londonderry, Omagh, Dungiven and other areas.

On Monday over 50 Palestinians were killed during protests at the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

A further two Palestinians were killed near the border on Tuesday.

Sinn Fein have called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland but he rejected the proposal in The Dail on Tuesday.

“I hope that the other parties on Belfast City Council will support this request that will allow Belfast citizens to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine," Councillor Hargey said.

“This was an atrocity and the brutal nature of the Israeli Army has been laid bare for all to see.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador from Ireland and move immediately to formally recognise the state of Palestine as voted for in the Dáil."

Sinn Féin has also submitted a motion for discussion at the next full Belfast council meeting at the beginning of June.

The motion submitted by Sinn Féin reads:

“This council condemns the recent murder and attack by Israeli forces on innocent protestors, including men, women and children in Gaza.

“We call on the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza and defend their human rights.

“We call on the Irish Government to recognise the state of Palestine as voted for in the Dáil, and further call upon the Irish Government to expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland.”

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