Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has condemned the Israel army’s latest killing of two Palestinians during a Nakba day demonstration near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Nakba day is an annual commemoration for Palestinians, who remember the estimated 800,000 Palestinians who were expelled or forced to flee from their homes and land during the war in 1948.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Every May 15th Palestinians marked The Nabka, or catastrophe, to remember the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that were forced to flee from their homes and land, and the towns and villages that were demolished by Israeli forces in the 1948 war.
“The Palestinians displaced during this time became refugees throughout the region and have been banned from returning.
“According to the Ramallah-based Central Bureau of Statistics, who released new figures this week, the number of registered Palestinian refugees is now at 5.3 million.
“In demonstrations today to mark the Nakba many Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces, as protesters were met with live fire, teargas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
“Sadly we know that two protesters were killed by Israeli forces at a demonstration just outside Ramallah, and I condemn the heavy handed actions of the Israeli forces.
“While it is 66 years since the Nakba, Palestinians still remain vulnerable to expulsion and having their homes and villages destroyed by Israel.
“Israel is continuing to build illegal colonial settlements in Palestine and settlement building actually reached a 10 year high in 2013, including proposed settlement building in East Jerusalem.
“The only solution to this conflict will be a negotiated peace agreement based on two independent and sovereign states, Israel needs to recognise this and end its illegal settlement programme.”