Sinn Féin representatives meet with Palestinian delegation.
A Sinn Féin delegation, led by the party's Middle East Desk Head, MLA, Pat Sheehan, met with a EuroPal organised Palestinian delegation in Belfast.
Speaking after the meeting Pat Sheehan said:
'A Palestinian Delegation, consisting of human right lawyers and a religious representative from Jerusalem, met with Sinn Féin representatives including MLA, Linda Dillon, and myself in Belfast.
“The purpose of the meeting was for the Palestinian Delegation to provide an update on the serious situation facing the Palestinian people, to seek our support in highlighting the many human right violations of the Israeli government, and to share our experience of the Irish peace process.
“Among the many issues raised with us was the imprisonment of Sheikh Raed Saleh, a Palestinian leader of the Islamic Movement, who has been in Israeli solitary confinement since 15 August on charges of expressing an opinion which the Israeli administration viewed as support for terrorism. Other issues concerned the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem allowing them to be occupied by Israeli settlers and the detention and criminalising of Palestinian children some as young as 12 years of age.
“We used this opportunity to once again stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, condemn Israeli aggression, their violations of human rights and express our support for the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people for Statehood based on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“We call on the international community to increase the pressure on Israel in face of this systematic onslaught against the Palestinian people. The building of illegal settlements should cease, Sheikh Raed Saleh should be released, the detention of Palestinian children should end and Israel should be forced to adhere to the numerous UN mandates based on the rights of the Palestinian people.”