Two young Derry republicans will return home from Gaza this weekend after taking part in a delegation from the north west to strengthen links with Palestinians.
Ruairi McLaughlin and Mickey McCrossan from Sinn Féin Republican Youth (SFRY) in Derry were joined on the delegation by Álanna Campbell and Cathal Óg Donnelly from SFRY in Tyrone and by Derry councilllor Gerry MacLochlainn.
During their visit, the group met with Palestinian officials, visited refugee camps, and became the first westerners to be allowed to see Palestinian hunger strikers in hospital in Gaza.
The young Derry republicans also met with Palestinian student groups to establish links between student movements in Ireland and Gaza.
The group also presented Easter lily badges to Palestinians.
Speaking from Gaza Mickey McCrossan said; “It’s been very busy since we arrived here. The reception the Irish delegation has got has been nothing short of amazing and we are all very humbled by the welcome the people of Gaza have given us. We felt it was very important to bring the Easter Lily on our trip to present to the Palestine people and stand in solidarity with them in their struggle.”
He also said he hopes the visit will raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. “To see up close the conditions people here have to live in was shocking.
It’s a daily battle for survival. The continual onslaught of the Palestinian people in Gaza is simply unacceptable and has to end now.”