Date Released: 27 March 2015
A leading advocate for children in Gaza who was to invited to speak at a conference on Palestine in Dublin tomorrow has been refused a visa by the Israeli authorities.
Dr Mona El Farra, projects director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance has refused a visa to enter Israel, from where she planned to travel to Dublin, for unexplained ‘security reasons’.
Dr El Farra who is also vice-chairperson of the Red Crescent in Gaza has said that she does not present a security risk to anyone as her sole activity is in helping the traumatised and injured children and women of Gaza.
“I wanted to come to Dublin to tell the Irish people of the suffering that is going on in Gaza since the Israeli military assault last summer. There has been no reconstruction of any kind and tens of thousands of people are living in temporary accommodation. The scale of suffering and trauma for women and children is immense,” Dr El Farra said.
Speaking on RTE Drivetime on Thursday, Dr El Farra said that she has also been unable to get through the Rafah crossing to Egypt as it has only been open on days of each month even though thousands of people are trying to leave Gaza including many for medical reasons.
The conference in Liberty Hall tomorrow (Saturday 28th March) will be addressed by Sabri Saidam, a former minister and adviser to President Abbas in the West Bank and Elaine Bradley a human rights activist who has just returned to Ireland after eight months in Palestine. The conference is open to the public and free of charge and will commence at 11.00 a.m.
Listen to the interview here (at 1hr 39 mins)