The City Council of Belfast in Northern Ireland has approved a motion calling on the governments of the UK and Ireland to expel Israeli ambassadors over the occupying regime’s crimes against the Palestinians.
The document, passed with votes from left-wing parties, urged Belfast municipality to call on London and Dublin “to expel from office Israeli ambassadors, with immediate effect.”
Speaking at the voting session, Socialist councilor Fiona Ferguson said, “I think the expulsion of ambassadors is a first step – a preliminary step – to greater action, but it’s an incredibly important and symbolic step.”
Ferguson, who has tabled the motion, demanded that the UK and Ireland lead by example and answer “the call from Palestinians across the world who have asked for ambassadors to be expelled.”
The resolution states that Israel’s military operation in Gaza amounts to the “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” and that the regime’s “illegal settlement expansion, represents flagrant breaches of international law.”
It further says normal cooperation with Tel Aviv is “untenable” at a time when “a growing list of human rights organizations has determined that Israel’s actions amount to apartheid.”
“The council recognizes the rich history of solidarity and activism in this city from all communities for Palestine, including very recently when a huge demonstration called for an end to Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians; and that such solidarity on the part of our citizens can be an important tool in dismantling support for Israel’s actions,” the motion reads.
Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian students and activists staged a sit-in protest in front of the Irish Foreign Ministry in Dublin.
They blocked the entrance to the ministry, waving signs urging Ireland to expel the Israeli envoy.
Israel launched the bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10, after Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Apparently caught off guard by unprecedented rocket barrages from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and 1948 others were wounded.