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Palestinian Authority invites Dublin's Lord Mayor to attend conference on Jerusalem

The Ardmhéara will attend a conference on the status of the City of Jerusalem at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.

Protests took place this week along the Israel-Gaza border.
Protests took place this week along the Israel-Gaza border.
Image: Ahmad Hasaballah

THE LORD MAYOR of Dublin will travel to Palestine tomorrow to attend a conference on the status of the city of Jerusalem.

Mícheál Mac Donncha will attend the conference in Ramallah at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.

The Ardmhéara condemned the US’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing it as “a backward step and a severe setback for the cause of peace, reconciliation and justice in Palestine and Israel.”

As Lord Mayor of the capital city of Ireland I am travelling to acknowledge that East Jerusalem is the designated capital of Palestine under the two-state solution, recognised by the international community, but forcibly prevented from being implemented by successive Israeli governments.

“Jerusalem is a place of huge cultural and religious significance for people all over the word, including in Ireland,” Mac Donncha, a long-standing member of Sinn Féin, said. “It is, of course, a place of immense importance to the people of Palestine.”

7825 Jacob's Biscuit exhibition_90522599 Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha, Lord Mayor of Dublin, will travel to Palestine tomorrow. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

I am also here to express solidarity with the people of Palestine who are suffering violence from Israeli forces, as witnessed in Gaza most recently with the shooting down of protesters.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, today called for calm in Gaza as nine Palestinians were killed last weekend in confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the Israel-Gaza border. 31 people are estimated to have been killed in Gaza since protests began at the end of last month.

“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,” Coveney said. “The number of people injured by live ammunition is very troubling, and I support calls by the EU and by the UN Secretary General for an independent and transparent investigation.”

“As I have said very clearly in all my contacts in the region, the situation in Gaza is untenable.”

Most of the 1.9 million people there have never been allowed to leave this tiny area, and young Gazans are vulnerable to despair, without the possibility for normal ambitions and plans for the future. The long-standing blockade of Gaza cannot be accepted as normality.

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