Updated: 02/01/17 : 06:45:59
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Sligo holds New Year's Eve vigil for Palestine

Members and supporters of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Sligo took part in a New Year’s Eve vigil to remember the victims of the continued Israeli attacks on Gaza and to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Participants displayed a banner calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and carried placards which read  “Freedom and Peace in Palestine” “End U.S. aid to Israel”.

Among those participating in the vigil were local elected representatives including Cllr Declan Bree, Cllr Sean MacManus and Cllr Gino O’Boyle.

Cllr Gino O’Boyle told Sligo Today, “More than 9,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians and including over 2,000 children, have been killed in the past 16 years by Israeli forces. Israel has imposed an illegal and inhuman siege on the Gaza strip.  

"The Israeli regime has destroyed thousands of Palestinian homes and crucial civilian infrastructure, including power plants, roads, bridges, sewage and telephone networks.   Restrictions imposed on the movements of Palestinians and Palestinian goods have made normal life impossible.”

Mr Chris MacManus said, “The recent resolution passed by the UN Security Council is to be welcomed.  The resolution demands that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. It reaffirms the illegality of the settlements and their existence as a barrier to peace. However the statement issued by the Israeli regime that it will ignore the resolution, is further evidence of a continuing contempt for international law and the views of the international community.”

Cllr Declan Bree said, “Peace cannot exist where there is injustice. Justice and the rule of international law must form the basis of dispute resolution.  We clearly have an obligation to speak out for the voiceless and defenseless. Palestinians are terrorised and oppressed by a rogue state that has killed thousands of innocent men, women and children and forced millions to endure a lifetime of misery in refugee camps. 

"Expressions of solidarity and the boycotting of Israeli goods can and does make a difference.   It lets the Palestinian people know that they are not forgotten and the justice of their cause is recognised.” he said.