The Meath Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be organising a candlelit vigil on the 28th of January, beside Flowerhill bridge in Navan, from 17:30-18:45pm. These vigils will be taking place globally, started by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, to protest against the renewed ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah and the Naqab Desert.

The campaign has asked people to come along, tell their family and friends and to bring candles or battery powered candles, to show their support for the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign has said in a statement that on December 28th 2021, “Israeli bulldozers demolished the homes of eleven families from Ibziq and expected them to leave their land”, and bulldozers and combat-ready soldiers have raided the Palestinian village of Al-Atrash in the Naqab Desert since the 12th of January, hence why they have asked Palestinain Solidarity Campaigns to protest this “ethnic cleansing”.

Moira Leydon, Chairperson of Meath IPSC, told Meath Live: “As Ireland moves into the year commemorating the end of the independence struggle and the departure of British military forces, Irish people are engaging with history in unprecedented numbers and with deeper understanding of the multi-faceted and complex legacy of colonialism. It is no wonder that so many Irish people are attuned to the impact and legacy of colonialism throughout global south, in particular the conditions which the Palestinian people are subjected to the Israeli state. A central plank of its strategy is accelerated dispossession of the land and homes of Palestinians so that, in the infamous words of Israel’s prime minister, Golda Meir, in 1969 ‘there is no such thing as a Palestinian’. (Ironically, Golda Meir and her predecessors were admirers of the Irish people’s struggle for independence, in particular the military leadership provided by Michael Collins)”.

“Failure by the international community to hold Israel to account for its annexation of Palestinian lands has given Israel tacit permission to continue to ethnically cleanse the remaining Palestinian territories. Just this week, images and videos of the Al-Salhiya family standing on the roof of their home in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah defending themselves against eviction went viral. Earlier in the month, heavily armed Israeli Defence Forces bulldozing homes, farms and lands of the Palestinian village of Al-Atrash in the Naqab desert went viral, accompanied by distressing images of brutal arrests of non-armed protestors”.

“The Meath Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign is hosting a candle-lit vigil on Friday 28th of January at Flower Hill bridge (5.30 to 6.45) to show the Palestinian people that they are not forgotten, that they are not alone. The vigil will also serve to remind the nine Meath members of the Oireachtas of their political responsibility to deliver on the intent and aspirations underpinning the unanimous vote in the Dáil on Tuesday 25th May 2021 on the continuing de facto annexation by Israel of Palestinian lands. This motion also stated that ‘the forced displacement of the protected Palestinian population and the presence and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, undermines the prospects of peace…and represent flagrant violations of international law’”, concluded Leydon.