Maryam Madani reports on the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Dail Eireann protest
Ibrahim Halawa was among the attendees at last Thursday’s lunchtime protest outside Dáil Eireann to free all children being unlawfully detained and subjected to abuse in the Israeli prison system.
The protest was organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in association with Students for Justice in Palestine and United Against Racism.
Fatin al-Tamimi, chairperson of the IPSC, said: “We are holding this symbolic protest outside the Irish parliament to highlight the issue of child prisoners and to appeal to the Irish government to take concrete action to end Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinian children like Ahed Tamimi”.
Halawa said that he was at the protest because “Ahed Tamimi is a child, and I was a child prisoner, so I know how it is, it’s not easy”. Before Halawa’s imprisonment, when he “was still a little kid”, he remembers protesting for Palestine which he considers “a humanitarian case that you stand up for. And now I’m back here again and nothing’s stopping me, nothing”.
Ahed Tamimi came to worldwide attention after three videos showing her resistance to Israeli soldiers spread online. Tamimi appears in the first video, aged nine, threatening to punch Israeli military personnel, the second video depicts her aged 11 biting the arm of a soldier as she tries to protect her brother and the third video shows her, at the age of 16, slapping a soldier in the face to prevent him from entering her home. This video was taken just after her cousin, Mohammed al-Tamimi, was severely wounded after being shot in the face with a rubber bullet that broke through his jaw and skull.
The latter video in particular has led to Tamimi being hailed as a symbol and face of the Palestinian resistance, but has also led to her arrest and detention by Israel. She is currently awaiting trial and facing sentences of ten or more years for assault and throwing stones. She was arrested during a pre-dawn raid on her family home by Israeli soldiers and border police in the occupied West Bank.
The Seanad will vote on the Occupied Territories Bill on January 31 to prohibit the sale of goods from illegal settlements in occupied countries. If the Bill passes, it would be the first of its kind in Europe.