About Irish Friends of Palestine

Irish Friends of Palestine Delegation on Fact Finding Mission to schools in Gaza

Irish Friends of Palestine is formerly the Derry Friends of Palestine group which began in 2008/9 during Cast Lead. Irish Friends of Palestine are based in Derry, Ireland and work directly with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Additionally from time to time we work on a “temporary” basis with other individuals and/or groups in Ireland and around the world on collective projects such as the Flotilla. IFOP organise specially geared Delegations to the Gaza strip. Each IFOP Freedom & Friendship delegation is organised to address a specific area of solidarity twinning between Ireland and Gaza. We are independent, non-party political. We welcome the support of individuals in Ireland and around the world who are committed to making improvements to the lives of those under occupation and siege in Palestine.

Our group aims to both create and fund projects or events which will help the people of Palestine through either raising awareness of certain issues, making cultural links or humanitarian aid and assistance.

1. Internationally we work very hard to spread the word of the plight and the suffering of Palestinians under occupation and the illegal siege and welcome associations with other worldwide groups. We do this by working with our own contacts inside Palestine, or by associating with other international groups.

2. Locally we work to forge links between the people of Palestine and the people of Ireland to promote good relations by organising activities in support of the development of Palestine as part of an independent Palestinian state.

3. We fully support the BDS Campaign and in 2009 our members were successful in helping to get a motion passed by the Derry City Council which officially calls on the City of Derry to Boycott Israel. Insofar as we know, Derry City is the only city in Ireland that has an official policy to Boycott Israel.

4. We are very involved in the Palestinian prisoners issue, both in Ireland, Internationally and also in Gaza. We work closely with UFree Prisoners organisation and we are their representatives in Ireland. Our members have attended numerous International Prisoner Conferences, including the UN in Geneva, the EU Parliament in Brussels and with the Ministry of Detainees in Gaza. We are the first and only Irish Organisation to have successfully organised a Palestinian Prisoners Conference in Ireland which included prisoners from West Bank and Gaza.

5. From time to time we may work alongside other Palestinian groups. Groups we support and have worked with are: the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR), Ethar Voluntary Group- Gaza, and UFree. We have also worked closely with the Gaza Ministry of Education to implement our “Link for Learning” School Twinning Program between Ireland and Gaza.

We have traveled to Gaza many times, in 2009 we had a member co-lead the ECESG “Hope” convoy which was the 2nd convoy to enter Gaza only 4 months after Cast Lead. That convoy delivered 40 ambulances to hospitals hard hit by the war. Since Cast lead our founding members have visited Gaza many times to continually meet with Palestinians and be updated, on average twice per year.

In March 2012 we again expanded our Gaza delegations to include students from the North and South of Ireland, and took out the “Freedom & Friendship” Delegation to Gaza. This delegation consisted of young people from the political arena along with University Students from Queens University Belfast and NUI Maynooth.

In November 2012 we again took a “Freedom & Friendship” delegation to Gaza which included Irish fishermen to meet with Gaza fishermen and their Union leaders. Flowing from those meetings we have successfully presented a cross party briefing to the Irish Parliament in March 2013. We will continue to work for the rights of Gaza fishermen.

Irish Friends of Palestine will continue to organise “Freedom & Friendship” delegations to Gaza as we bring out various groups to create a network of links between “like” groups in Ireland and Palestine. We are currently running a campaign to save children in Gaza with our partner NGO “Ethar Voluntary Group” in Gaza. You can help and support this campaign by visiting us here www.lightgaza.org We are also involved in the www.freedomstitchers.org project and will be traveling to Gaza in 2014.

Photos of some of our Delegations:

Freedom & Friendship Student and Political Delegation HERE

To view some of our previous solidarity work please visit www.derryfriendsofpalestine.org

You can find our “Link for Learning” school twinning program HERE

and the Pilot Program HERE

Reports from our other Delegations to Gaza can be found HERE

you can contact us here:

info(at)irishfriendsofpalestine.org

Gallery of Photos:

Khaled W. Almudallal of UFREE, Lauren Booth-Journalist, Gerry MacLochlainn Irish Friends of Palestine

The event, the first of its kind, was organized by “UFree Network” an international organization which highlights the suffering of Palestinian political prisoners and promotes their rights. UFREE organiser Khaled Almudallal and Gerry MacLochlainn former Irish Political Prisoner with Lauren Booth. The conference panellists, consisting of former Palestinian and Irish political prisoners, demanded an end to Israel’s so-called “Administrative Detention” and the release of all Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Irish Students Receive Award from Gaza Ministry of Education for Solidarity Work

IFOP Members meeting with the PLC in Gaza

DFOP Speaking at Ministry of Youth and Sport in Gaza


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