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Ireland capital to fly Palestine flag despite Israeli anger

Ireland has strong ties with Palestine because of its experience with British occupation [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 May, 2017

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Dublin, the Irish capital, has agreed to fly the Palestinian flag in a show of solidarity to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba despite Israel's objections.

Dublin, the Irish capital, has agreed to fly the Palestinian flag over its city hall in a show of solidarity to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba despite strong objections from Israel.

The Dublin City Council voted on Tuesday in favour of a proposal to hoist the flag over city hall for a month with 42 out of 60 councilors backing the move, The Irish Times reported.

The Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic, was the mass expulsion of around 800,000 Palestinians from their homes during the 1948 war which saw the state of Israel created.

"Tonight's gesture of solidarity is to show that we care, that we support Palestinians in their fight for self-determination, freedom and justice," said Councillor John Lyons, who enacted the motion.

Lyons added that the move was a small gesture to oppose "the most horrendous Israeli occupation and apartheid system".

Israeli ambassador to Ireland Zeev Boker had sent a letter to councillors ahead of the vote to warn them against taking "a one-sided approach".

"We must ask what kind of message such a gesture sends to these Israelis who are proud to now call Dublin their adopted home?" Boker said.

"I also know that some members of the Irish Jewish community are concerned by the negative message that the flying of the flag promotes," he added.

On Monday next week, Palestinians and about 5.5 million of their descendants will mark the day hundreds of thousands of their people were expelled from their towns and villages by Zionist forces.

Israeli Jews, in contrast, celebrate their independence day earlier in the month with public ceremonies - in two very different reactions to the anniversary of Israel's founding.

For Palestinians, the right of return to homes they fled or were forced out of is a prerequisite for any peace agreement with Israel.

Tel Aviv has said it will never accept a "right of return", arguing it would threaten the state by diluting its Jewish majority.

Ireland has had strong ties with the Palestinian cause, because of the commonalities between Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation and Ireland's own battle to free itself from centuries of British rule.

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