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Protesters outside the Department of Foreign Affairs this afternoon. Trinity BDS

Trinity students occupy Department of Foreign Affairs and call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador

About 20 protesters went inside the building, wearing masks and social distancing.

A GROUP OF students occupied a building at the Department of Foreign Affairs, demanding that the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland be expelled and that Ireland cease trading with Israel.

Trinity BDS, a pro-Palestinian campaign group in Trinity College, organised a protest and went inside the office next to the Department on Stephen’s Green in Dublin this afternoon.

Around 20 protesters were inside the department and another 30 were outside protesting, a spokesperson for the group told The Journal. Protesters shouted “sanction Israel” and “free, free Palestine”.

The spokesperson said that everyone inside the building was socially distanced and wearing masks, and protesters outside were rotating with people inside.

The department has been contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for the gardaí said: “Gardaí attended the scene of a protest in the Dublin 2 area on the afternoon of Thursday, 3rd June, 2021. All persons present later dispersed without incident. No arrests were made.”

A press statement from Trinity BDS said: “Justice for Palestine means dismantling the apartheid Israeli state and creating a single, secular state where all people are afforded equal rights and opportunities regardless of their ethnicity, and where those Palestinian people forcibly expelled from their homes and villages can return safely.”

It added: “The ‘ceasefire’ agreed between Israel and Hamas does not apply to Israeli apartheid and the continued persecution of Palestinians, and so we continue to demand sanctions on the apartheid Israeli state.”

“We are demanding that the Irish government: Expel the Israeli ambassador from Ireland immediately; Cease all trade with apartheid Israel, and impose other economic and political sanctions on Israel; use Ireland’s voice on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel’s actions in Palestine in the strongest possible terms,” the statement said.

Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) is a worldwide, Palestinian-led movement which campaigns for Palestine and opposes support for Israel.

The movement calls on governments to boycott, divest and sanction – boycott Israeli institutions, divest from investments linked to Israel and impose penalties on Israel.

Last week, Ireland became the first EU country to declare the building of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories as de facto annexation.

A Dáil motion, tabled by Sinn Féin, was passed after it received cross-party support.

It condemns the “recent and ongoing forced displacement of Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory”, and described the annexation of Palestinian territory as a violation of international law.

An amendment tabled by People Before Profit, calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and to impose sanctions against Israel, was defeated.

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