Updated: 09/05/17 : 05:59:06
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Sligo will fly Palestine flag for a fortnight

SLIGO WILL fly a new flag for a fortnight later this month, it was confirmed yesterday, Monday.

The flag of Palestine will fly at Sligo County Council HQ, elected members have unanimously decided.

Next Monday May 15th is ''Nakba Day'' and the flag will fly until May 31st.

The ''Day'' commemorates the loss of Palestine when the State of Israel  was established in 1948.

''Nakba Day'' was established by the late Yasser Arafat in 1998.

The proposal on the pennant was jointly moved by councillors Chris McManus, Gino O'Boyle and Declan Bree at the Sligo County Council meeting yesterday, Monday.

Councillors present from other parties supported the proposal, said Cllr Bree online.

He described flying the flag as ''a gesture of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Seven Million

''They are living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza; with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights.''

Over seven million displaced Palestinians have been denied the right of return to their homeland, claimed Cllr Bree.

Yesterday, a similar decision to 'fly the flag' was made at a meeting of Dublin City Council.

Highly Charged

The move met with some opposition from the Israeli Ambassador beforehand.

The Ambassador said the action would be “highly politically charged.''

 It would, he felt, demonstrate a one-sided approach by the council to the conflict.

However, a counter proposal in the Dublin City Council fly the Israeli flag alongside that of Palestine was defeated 43-11.

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcomed the announcements that Dublin City Hall and Sligo County Council HQ will fly the Palestinian flag between for a forthnight.

IPSC Chairperson Ms. Fatin Al-Tamimi, a Palestinian-Irish citizen whose family is originally from Hebron and Gaza in the occupied Palestinian territories, said:

“We in the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign sincerely thank Dublin City and Sligo County Councils for voting for these important symbolic measures. They are  in the words of the motions themselves, heartening ‘gestures of 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’.

"I’m sure I am echoing the views of all Palestinians in Ireland in saying that these gestures have been truly soul-stirring and deeply emotional on a personal level.”

"We would like to especially thank Cllrs. Declan Bree, Chris McManus and Gino O’Boyle for proposing and supporting the Sligo motion, and all those councillors who spoke and voted in favour of these historic actions, and who stood up for Palestinian rights,” concluded Ms. Fatin Al-Tamimi.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian plight will feature in a lunchtime drama at Hawks Well Theatre this Thursday. (12.45pm). The Olive Tree, a magic realist journey into the stories and struggles of Palestine, past, present and future, written and performed by Katie O'Kelly.