Dublin City Council has voted to support economic sanctions against Israel – including a boycott of certain Israeli goods.
The motion, passed by councillors last night, notes that the council "fully supports and endorses" the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for freedom, equality and justice.
The BDS movement targets Israel over its occupation and colonisation of Palestinian lands.
The motion also called for the council to discontinue business contracts with technology manufacturer Hewlett Packard (HP).
The global IT company is one of the main suppliers of IT systems equipment and services to the Israeli military and security sectors.
The council motion claims that the company provides and operates “much of the technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people.”
In a statement however, the company said that “allegations that HP is complicit in human rights violations are untrue,” and insisted that it has never offered the services claimed by the motion.
“HP is committed to socially responsible business practices and abides by stringent policies that respect human rights in every market in which we operate.”
Lord Mayor's Visit
The Chairperson of the IPSC Fatin Al Tamimi handing in a petition to the Irish government asking to end the arms trade with Israel, 04-10-=2017. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews
The Mayor of Dublin Micheál MacDonnacha is travelling to the Palestinian Territories today for a conference on the future of Jerusalem:
“We really need a message of peace but also justice in Palestine and it is also appropriate I think that I travel out today, the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement,” he said.
The motion calling for the council to endorse the global Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was proposed by People Before Profit Cllr John Lyons.
“The Israeli state imposes the most horrendous of conditions upon the people of Palestine,” said Cllr Lyons. “Those in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and inside Israel itself.
“It is an apartheid system that treats the children, women and men of Palestine as if they were less than human.”
He said the Israeli government's actions have blocked the so-called 'Two State Solution' to the conflict adding that "in recent days we have seen horrendous actions by the Israeli military with the killing of protesters in Gaza.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
The President of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Fatin Al Tamimi praised the council for its decision.
“Speaking as a Palestinian and a Dubliner I’m so proud that the local government of my adoptive the city has voted to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality,” she said.
“It is wonderful that Dublin City Council will now become part of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called for by Palestinian civil society.”
March of Return
Mourners and journalists carry the body of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja who was killed bi Israeli gunfire on Friday, 08-04-2018. Image: Stringer/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Up to nine Palestinians are believed to have been shot dead by Israeli forces during fresh protests along the Gaza-Israel border over the weekend.
The demonstrations on Friday marked the second week of a six-week long “March of Return” in support of refugees who have been forced from their homes.
The deaths reportedly brought the number of Palestinians killed in the protests to over 30.
Organisers have called for the protests to remain peaceful.
The protests began on March 30th to mark Land Day - a day of commemoration to mark the deaths in Israel of six unarmed Arab protesters in 1976.
Demonstrations are set to end on May 15th, when Palestinians commemorate the anniversary of the creation of Israel (known by Palestinians as the 'Nakba' or 'catastrophe').
“Restraint and calm”
In a statement yesterday, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney called for “restraint and calm.”
“I was deeply saddened to hear of further fatalities inside Gaza this weekend, following the appalling number of serious injuries and deaths last week,” he said.
“I call again for the utmost restraint, and urge the Israeli authorities, in particular, to ensure that any force used is only as a last resort, and is proportionate to the circumstances.
He said the situation facing Palestinians in Gaza is “untenable” and called for a resumption of the Palestinian Authority presence in the area.
With reporting from Stephen McNeice