Northern Ireland councillors end Gaza twinning

One of Northern Ireland’s smallest towns has reversed its controversial decision to twin with Gaza.

Councillors in Moyle, County Antrim, voted to end the partnership with Gaza’s municipal authorities at a meeting on Monday.

A Sinn Fein resolution had proposed showing further solidarity with the Palestinians following last week’s violence but the move renewed calls to end the twinning.

Three hours of motion and counter-motion followed. With one independent councillor absent from the chamber the vote was split and it fell to the casting vote of council chairman Sandra Hunter, of the Ulster Unionist Party.

She sided with the anti-twinning members, and the agreement was dissolved.

Moyle has a population of 15,000 and is home to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway.

Following the decision, Steven Jaffe of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel said: “It was clear that a twinning arrangement with Hamas was extremely divisive.”

Last updated: 9:45am, November 30 2012