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Ennis calls on IFA to respect rights of Palestinians

5 September, 2018 - by Sinéad Ennis

Sinn Féin MLA Sinéad Ennis has called on the Irish Football Association to respect the rights of the Palestinian people by cancelling the international soccer friendly with Israel on Tuesday 11 September.

The party's Culture Arts and Sport spokesperson was commenting ahead of a Sinn Féin protest at Belfast's International Wall set to take place on Saturday 8 September at 12 noon. 

The South Down MLA said:

“Next Tuesday, the IFA plan to host the Israeli soccer team for a friendly match at Windsor Park. This is the wrong decision.

“Over recent weeks and months, many sporting, cultural and music figures have heeded calls from the BDS movement, not to perform in Israel. 

“Since March, the Israeli military have slaughtered over 160 Palestinians in Gaza including men, women and children taking part in peaceful demonstrations.

“The Israeli government must feel the pressure of the international anger at their mass killings, human rights violations and flagrant violations of international law. Ironically, their disgraceful restrictions placed on Palestinians prohibits the Palestinian team from flourishing internationally. 

“The collapse of the South African apartheid regime proved the effectiveness of cultural, academic and economic boycott as a way of securing change. 

“Once again, I am calling on the IFA to respect the rights of Palestinians by cancelling this match and sending out a strong signal that the slaughter of Palestinians in the open-air prison which is Gaza, is completely unacceptable.

“Sinn Féin have organised a protest at Belfast's International Wall on Saturday 8 September at 12 noon in opposition to this soccer match and in support of the Palestinian people."

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