The Galway City Council is to “express solidarity” with Beit Lahia, a Palestinian city in which civilians have been killed by Israeli Defence Force tank shells.
At Monday’s city council meeting Green Cllr Niall Ó Brolcháin called on the Galway City Council to “express solidarity with the Beit Lahia Municipality in Gaza, Palestine, and endeavour to develop stronger relations between our two municipalities”.
Beit Lahia is located north of Jabalia, near Beit Hanoun and the 1949 Armistice Line with Israel. It has a population of 59,540.
In 2004 seven civilian residents, including six members of the same family, were killed when an IDF tank shell hit the agricultural area where they were working. In 2006, eight civilians were killed while picnicking on the northern Gazan beach in Beit Lahia.
Independent Cllr Catherine Connolly supported the motion. She pointed out that Ireland has “a long tradition of showing solidarity with the underdog and Palestine is the biggest underdog in the world.”
She added that the actions of the Israeli military and government is resulting in “the population of Palestine being punished on a personal basis”. Cllr Daniel Callanan also supported the idea but asked if more than “a solidarity letter” could be written.
All councillors supported the motion.