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9 May, 2017 11:45

Palestinian flag flies over Dublin's City Hall in ‘gesture of solidarity’

Palestinian flag flies over Dublin's City Hall in ‘gesture of solidarity’

The Palestinian flag will fly over City Hall in Dublin, Ireland for the month of May "as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

Passed on Monday by Dublin City Council, the motion was proposed by left-wing People Before Profit Councillor John Lyons, who said the move would support communities living under a form of “apartheid, worse than South Africa.” It was carried with the support of Sinn Féin and left-wing parties by 42 to 11, with seven abstentions. Center-right parties Fine Gael and Fine Fail opposed the motion.

The motion stated that the city council will fly the flag “as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights and with the over 7 million displaced Palestinians denied the right of return to their homeland.”

Writing on Facebook, Sinn Fein Councillor Larry O’Toole said he was “proud to speak in favor of and support the Palestinian flag flying over City Hall.”

‘Nakba Day,’ also known as ‘Day of Catastrophe,’ sees Palestinians commemorate their expulsion from their homeland between 1947 and 1949. This year will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcomed the announcement on Facebook, with Chairperson Fatin Al-Tamimi saying she was “speechless” as she thanked the Irish people for their support.   

“The refugees created during this ethnic cleansing and their descendants now number in the millions, and all are shamefully still denied their internationally mandated Right of Return to their homeland,” she added.

In an letter to councilors ahead of the vote, Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker, said that flying the flag would be “highly politically charged,” adding that “some members of the Irish Jewish community are concerned by the negative message that the flying of the flag promotes.”

Sligo County Council, on Ireland’s west coast, also voted to fly the flag at its council building from May 15 until the end of the month.