Well over 120 people attended a public meeting outside Newry town hall at lunch-time Saturday 29th May in support of Palestine.
The event was organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) which is aiming to formally launch a new branch of the organisation locally in several weeks time.
Speakers at the event included Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Mohammad Samanna, both of whom are members of the IPSC in Portadown and Belfast respectively.
Mac Cionnaith thanked those who had turned out to show support for Palestine. He pointed out that while 67 children had died during the most recent wave of Israeli bombings on Gaza, over three thousand Palestinian children had died as a result of Israeli attacks during the past twenty years. More than 10,000 Palestinian adults had also perished in that same period, he said.
Mohammad Samanna, a Palestinian now living in Belfast, spoke of the discrimination and hardship faced by his fellow Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank as well as the destruction, devastation and deaths being wreaked upon the people of Gaza by Israeli forces.
A health worker by profession, Mr Samanna bluntly described the daily living conditions which Palestinians experience under Israeli occupation as apartheid. He spoke of his own experiences growing up in the West Bank where, he said, the continuing establishment and ever-increasing expansion of new Israeli settlements was tantamount to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their own lands.
He said he wished to thank the Irish people for their ongoing support for the Palestinian struggle for human rights, justice and equality.
Other speakers at the meeting urged their listeners to support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, and called on people to take simple steps such as refusing to buy Israeli produce being sold in local shops and supermarkets in the Newry area.