A number of republicans from Derry are currently in Gaza as part of an Irish delegation to the region.
Sinn Féin Republican Youth members Ruairi McLaughlin and Mickey McCrossan, local councillor Gerry MacLochlainn, and prominent community activist Charlie McMenamin travelled to Palestine this week for a series of meetings with officials, students, and political parties.
Speaking before leaving Derry, Mickey McCrossan from Sinn Féin Republican Youth said; “This visit to our Palestinian comrades is a chance for us to show again our dedication to the goals of Palestinian Statehood and freedom. The people of Gaza endure immeasurable suffering each day at the hands of the Israeli state from lack of water supplies, controlled by Israel to military brutality on an unimaginable scale. Only last week the Israeli air force through a series of air strikes killed 25 Palestinians including women and children in Gaza. The use of administrative detention, internment, by the Israelis has been highlighted by the recent Hunger strike of Khader Adnan from the West Bank. We as Irish republicans understand these concepts as well as anyone and in that vein we hope that our help and solidarity can prove beneficial to our comrades in Palestine. We must stand against injustice and torture and help in whatever way we can to deliver Palestinian freedom.”
During the visit, the group will visit a refugee camp and hold a meeting with the Gazan education minister.
Colr. MacLochlainn, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Middle East, called for immediate action to be taken to save the live of Palestinian prisoner, Hana Shalabi.
“Hana Shalabi is a political prisoner being held under the Israeli policy of Administrative Detention and is now on her 37th day of Hunger Strike against her incarceration. Following a visit in the past number of days the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said she is in danger of imminent death.
“This comes only weeks after another political prisoner held through administrative detention, Khaled Adnan, made world headlines during his own hunger strike against detention under the same policy. The policy of Administrative Detention, which essentially amounts to internment without charge, is based on detention orders issued by an Israeli military court.
“These draconian orders can be issued for periods of six months with extensions granted at the whim of the court with no regards to due process in law. This is a clear abuse of human rights.
“Now that there is clear evidence that Hana Shalabi’s life is in serious danger, she should be transferred to a hospital immediately. International agencies should be allowed to monitor her health and treatment, and indeed a number of other prisoners who have begun hunger strikes, in the days ahead.
“Imprisonment without trial is wrong and the policy of Administrative Detention needs to be ended immediately,” he said.