Palestinian flag to fly above City Hall over 'brutal occupation'
A Dublin City Council sub-committee has passed a motion to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall in solidarity with the people of Palestine living under "brutal Israeli occupation".
In a move that may spark international tension, the flag could be raised over the iconic building for the month of May.
This year will be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
The motion was proposed by People Before Profit Councillor John Lyons and was passed last Thursday, but will need to go before the full council before the motion is passed.
He said it was a gesture of "solidarity" with the people of Palestine, and said that Irish people have held large demonstrations in support of the Palestine state in recent years.
Cllr Lyons describes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as an "apartheid regime".
"If the flag was to cause a bit of a debate amongst some people who are unsure of it flying over City Hall I think that's a welcome development," he said. "I think the gesture itself is a symbolic one, the flying of the flag. I think more and more people are of the opinion that the very state of Israel and how it's behaving in an extreme manner is actually destabilising its cause and argument.
"I think it's opening more people's eyes just to the actual reality of the daily life of Palestinians living under occupation which is a brutal life really," he said.
The motion states:
“Noting recent reports of diplomatic developments by the Irish state toward full recognition of the state of Palestine, aware also that Ireland accorded the Palestinian delegation in Dublin diplomatic status in 2014, the same year that witnessed both Houses of the Oireachtas pass motions in support of Palestinian statehood, this city council will fly the flag of Palestine over City Hall for the month of May 2017 in support of the above diplomatic moves and as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights and with the over 7 million displaced Palestinians denied the right of return to their homeland.”
The Israeli embassy to Ireland was contacted but did not supply a comment in relation to Dublin City Council's decision.
However, the ambassador has previously expressed concern about Ireland making moves to recognise Palestine as a State.
Ambassador Zeev Boker reportedly sent a warning to Jerusalem about this as recently as February.