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1 December 2015 Edition

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MLAs and TDs hear call for international conference on Palestine

Fatah representative meets Sinn Féin in Belfast and Dublin

• Gerry Adams with Dr Fady Abusidu in Leinster House

Increased repression by the Israeli Army and daily attacks by Zionist ‘terrorist groups’ from the illegal settlements are fomenting a violent backlash by young Palestinians

THE Fatah International Relations Committee representative to Ireland and Britain spent two days in Ireland in mid-November, holding extensive talks with Sinn Féin in Belfast and Dublin before meeting the Irish Labour Party in Dublin.

On Wednesday 11 November, Dr Fady Abusidu met Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Pat Sheehan MLA with others at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, and Belfast City Mayor Arder Carson (also Sinn Féin) at City Hall before addressing a packed public meeting at the Felons’ Club in west Belfast. 

The following day he travelled to Dublin, where he briefed Gerry Adams and other Sinn Féin TDs on the ongoing violence in Palestine under Israeli occupation.

At a Dáil briefing for the Sinn Féin Oireachtas team, TDs and senators, Fady spoke to An Phoblacht.

Saying that it was “always a pleasure to be in Ireland and meet our brothers and sisters in Sinn Féin”, he said that the discussions with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness the previous day were very positive.

“We count greatly on your support,” the Palestinian spokesperson said and expressed his admiration for the efforts on Sinn Féin MEPs, particularly Martina Anderson, Chairperson of the European Parlaiment’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine.

The purpose of Fady’s visit to Ireland was to brief political figures about the state of the peace process in Palestine, and increased repression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli Army and daily attacks by Zionist “terrorist groups” from the illegal settlements that are fomenting a violent backlash by young Palestinians.

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• Armed Israeli settlers stand with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank

He said that the attitude of the Israeli regime to the peace process is very negative and not promising at all.

“The route to peace is becoming very, very difficult,” he said at the Dáil.

“Therefore we believe that the way forward is through establishing an international conference or forum similar to the one that achieved the Iranian nuclear agreement.”

At such a forum, the Fatah representative said, guarantees can be presented by the international community and agreements would not be dependent on balances of power but subject to international law.

The “two states vision” of the international community would be reflected in the forum “in guarantees that will provide assurances and hope for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people that peace is possible”.

In the interim, he said, the aim is to secure the protection of the Palestinian people and to ask the United Nations and all international organisations to suspend Israel “to try and compel Israel to respect its responsibilities under international law and to bring the issue to an international peace conference”.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe (Foreign Affairs) has welcomed the EU’s new rules for for clearly labelling goods coming from businesses and farms based in illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights as ‘settlement’ origin but he reiterated his often-repeated call for a total ban on settlement products. 

“Israeli settlements are built on stolen land and the illegality of these settlements means that all products should be banned from European markets. Israel’s favourable trade status should also be removed while they continue to violate international and human rights law with their illegal occupation.”

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