Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the Irish Government to protest Israel’s failed attempts to block Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Mícheál MacDonncha, from visiting Ramallah in occupied Palestine to speak at a conference on the status of Jersualem.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Ardmhéara MacDonncha was travelling to Ramallah in Palestine at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority for a major conference on the status of the City of Jerusalem.

“The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry told the Haaretz newspaper that it would ban him from entering the country because of his political support for the Palestinian people and the Boycott, Disinvestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to pressure Israel to abide by international law by ending its occupation and the apartheid regime that it enforces.

“Ardmhéara MacDonncha was able to enter Israel and subsequently travel to Palestine because, according to reports, the Israeli authorities misspelt his name in the document recommending his ban. However Israel’s willingness to stop the Mayor of our capital city from travelling to Palestine by banning him from entering Israel must be protested by the Irish Government.

“Israel’s attempts to punish those who speak out against its illegal occupation of Palestine and its continued violations of international law must not go unanswered.

“This week both Cork City Council and Dublin City Council passed motions calling for the expulsion of the Israeli diplomats after the massacre of 31 innocent Palestinians civilians in Gaza by the Israeli army over the last 2 weeks. One of those murdered was a journalist and a video has been leaked to the press showing Israeli soldiers cheering and celebrating when a sniper shoots a Palestinian civilian. This massacre was cold and calculated with hundreds of civilians being injured by live rounds.

“I want to commend the call of these City Councils and I am calling on Minister Coveney to protest Israel’s attempts to block Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath from travelling to Palestine and to initiate proceedings to expel the Israeli diplomats to Ireland over the calculated and targeted massacre of Palestinian citizens by the Israeli army in Gaza.”