Beit Sahour twins with Irish town

 by Roddy Keenan/ Dublin/

The town of Tralee in County Kerry became the first Irish town to formally twin with a Palestinian municipality at a ceremony in Tralee on Monday morning.

Representatives from Beit Sahour, including the town’s mayor Jehad Khair and the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland, Ahmad Abdelrazak, attended the event where Mayor Khair and Mayor Graham Spring of Tralee signed the historic agreement.

Last summer, Kerry County Council in the south-west of Ireland passed an unopposed motion to twin the town of Tralee with Beit Sahour.

Mayor Jehad Khair of the municipality welcomed the initiative and said he looks forward to developing strategic relationships to facilitate real and meaningful collaboration in as many areas as possible, such as tourism, agriculture, local industry and investment.

Moreover, cultural exchanges will enable the people of Tralee to experience life in Palestine under Israeli occupation and to witness the ongoing oppression for themselves. It also allows them to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Palestine and develop a close partnership in support of the Palestinian right to self determination.

However, this is only the beginning. Kheir has called on other towns to develop links with Palestinian municipalities. Meanwhile, representatives from refugee camps have spoken of the huge impact extending similar links to specific camps would also have.

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