Hawzah News Agency (Belfast, Ireland) - Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile said the “apartheid” regime “is involved in the slaughter of Palestinian civilians, flagrant human rights abuses, while showing complete disregard for international law.”
Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph on Thursday, he also called on the Irish Football Association (FAI) to cancel an upcoming Under-21 Euro Qualifier with Israel.
“Palestinian footballers and facilities have been deliberately targeted by Israeli military and the national team blocked from partaking in international fixtures due to disgraceful restrictions placed on them by the Israelis,” Ó Donnghaile said.
“UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) have a responsibility not to put countries in the position of facing Israel in competitive fixtures by expelling them from their competitions while Israel continues its onslaught against the Palestinian people,” the official asserted, according to Press TV.
Last week, the party called on the Northern Ireland to cancel a friendly with Israel in Belfast, which ultimately went ahead.
Europe rallying behind Palestine?
Also on Thursday, Spain said it would try to bring about a "European recognition" of an independent Palestinian state, noting that the country might itself go ahead and recognize Palestine if a consensus evaded the continent.
Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he would launch an "intensive" consultation process with his counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on the subject. If “the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision," the option of individual recognition of Palestine is “on the table,” he added.
Meanwhile, eight European countries issued a joint statement, which was read out at the United Nations in New York prior to a UN Security Council monthly debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They warned the regime against demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank.
The statement cosigned by the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Poland said that the European Union had “repeatedly stated our long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, as reconfirmed by Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016).”
The illegal status extended to “actions taken in that context, including the demolitions of Palestinian communities and possible forced transfers of population,” it added.
“The community of Khan al-Ahmar is located in a sensitive location in Area C, of strategic importance for preserving the contiguity of a future Palestinian state,” the countries said.
The Area C of the West Bank is the largest division in the occupied territory as it comprises 60 percent of the land, and is under full Israeli military control.
In early September, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected appeals against the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and said a temporary injunction that had put the move on hold would expire within seven days.
The Tel Aviv regime says the village is built illegally, but the Palestinians say the demolition plan is part of the regime’s forcible displacement policy to make room for its settlement activities.
The United Nations has, itself, urged Israel not to demolish the village which is home to 180 Palestinians.
“The consequences of a demolition of this community and the displacement of its residents, including children, would be very serious,” the European envoys stated.