Irish protest marks 50 years of Israeli occupation in Palestine

The UN has says now is the time to end the conflict

Irish protest marks 50 years of Israeli occupation in Palestine

Palestine solidarity protest on O'Connell Street in Dublin in 2015 | Image: Rollingnews.ie

A demonstration has taken place in Dublin to mark 50 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

The protest, organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), marched from The Spire on O'Connell Street to the Israeli embassy in the city.

Speakers at the event included TDs Richard Boyd-Barrett, Mary Lou McDonald and Paul Murphy - as well as rights activists.

Other supporting organisations included the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Mandate, SIPTU and the NUIG Palestine Solidarity Society.

Protests outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin | Image via @EFFanning on Twitter

IPSC chairperson Fatin Al Tamimi, a Palestinian-Irish citizen, spoke ahead of the demonstration.

"The occupation has seen five decades of hell for the people of Palestine, my people, not to mention a century of injustice dating back to the Balfour Declaration which granted the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement to colonise at the expense of its indigenous people.

"Unfortunately many people are unaware of the daily oppression of Palestinians that takes places during the times when Israel is not engaged in horrific assaults like the one we saw in Gaza three years ago.

"It's easy to forget that Palestinians live under the brutality of occupation or the despair of exile every single day.

"We called this protest with the aim of highlighting the issues facing Palestinians and to show that Ireland stands in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality."

It is 50 years since the start of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in Israel's occupation.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has reiterated a call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

He said: "Now is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.

"The occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians, has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people.

The West Bank barrier, which the UN says has "a dire effect" on all aspects of life for Palestine refugees | Image: UNRWA/Isabel de la Cruz

"Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow-up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

"Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty", he added.

On May 14th 1948, the State of Israel was born - but almost seven decades later "the world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state," Mr Guterres said.