Belfast call for Middle East peace

Published Wednesday, 06 August 2014
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Hundreds of people descended on Belfast City Hall on Wednesday evening to show solidarity with those caught in conflict in the Middle East and to call for peace in the region.

The vigil was led by the Lord Mayor and her chaplains representing the range of faiths across Belfast.

Politicians from all parties also joined in with the demonstration.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon addressed the assembled crowd.

She said: "Daily our news is filled with the tragic images of great human pain and suffering from Gaza and Israel.

"While the cameras are rightly pointed at this painful conflict, the sorrowful truth is that they could be pointed at the ongoing suffering in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Somalia, South Sudan and many other places where thousands of innocent children, women and men are dying because of war.

"Each is a demonstration of man's inhumanity to man - we remember them all."

A Zen bell rang out ahead of a minute's silence and the hundreds that gathered paid their respects to those who died and their loved ones caught in conflicts around the world.

Following the vigil, the SDLP councillor told UTV she was pleased with such a dignified show of solidarity.

She added: "This was to show compassion as a response to the daily images of terrible suffering and to bring together people to show solidarity with all those affected and to pray for peace.

"All faiths were represented and that was important as it shows the true make up of our city and sends a strong message for peace from the people of Belfast."

© UTV News
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45 Comments
Ryan in An Dun wrote (110 days ago):
@Pauline, so you have been watching pro Israeli propaganda videos? How are these any different from the pro Hamas propaganda videos. I base my opinions on facts not the western view and what the media want the people to see. BBC and RTE have been at the brunt of protests because of the coverage of this onslaught. The fact that you mention the trouble in Syria and Iraq, I don't actually remember UTV covering those stories Pauline. Do you? These comments forums are for people to have comments on the stories they read. Answer me this Pauline. If it's good enough for the west to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation for the trouble in Ukraine, then why not impose sanctions on Israel? It's simple Pauline. Israel are allies of the American and British. With the Americans sending funds and ammunition to Israel and the British supplying them with ammunition among other weaponry, who is supplying aid to the civilians caught in the middle. On 21 July Minister Flanagan and Minister of State Sean Sherlock T.D. announced a contribution of €500,000 to the UNRWA flash appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza. This is on top of substantial Irish Aid assistance to the Palestinian people, which amounted to €10.7 million in 2013. I myself have seen disturbing videos and images of the Israeli forces assassinating wounded civilians on the street. One man getting up and running on a broken leg to get out of the shelling from the Israelis. Journalist killed as the reported beside ambulances arriving at scenes to help the wounded. Is that all because of Hamas Pauline? I watched as an ambulance pulled up to help wounded people and recover the dead and it was hit by an Israeli shell. The killing on both sides are wrong. But you only have to look at the statistics and facts.
Trevor in Banbridge wrote (110 days ago):
If Hamas want peace why are they the ones who continuelly break each ceasefire by firing rockets into Israel. The blood of the Palestinians children lies solely on the hands of those in Hamas and with those that support it. Israel have been the ones who respond and not initiate the attacks. Who are we to judge what is a proportionate. One rocket either way is one rocket to many.
ally in belfast wrote (112 days ago):
Pauline in belfast i couldnt agree more, you have clearly looked at the facts. all this is hamas doing.
John in crumlin wrote (112 days ago):
boycott Israeli goods
just hamsters in the wheels wrote (113 days ago):
Would any of this have anything to do with the trillions of cubic feet of gas along the coast of Gaza(which just happens to be the biggest source of gas in the region),just something the media fail to report, and resources are always a factor of aggression.Don't be fooled into thinking the government on either side (or anywhere in the world)give a damn about their people if they did this wouldn't be happening.The sad truth about all governments is they are business corporations run by lunatics who seek profit and power and use the people as collateral.
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