As the death toll in Israel’s latest onslaught on Gaza reaches 100, several actions have been called around Ireland taking place this Saturday.
The Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has urged as many people as possible turn out to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
“The impunity which the international community consistently bestows upon the Israeli state ensures many more innocent Palestinian lives will be lost,” warned IPSC Media Spokesperson Freda Hughes.
The majority of casualties of Israel’s bombing campaign have been civilians. Amongst the dead are at least 23 children, the youngest of which was just eighteen months old. Two of Israel’s deadliest attacks targeted two family homes in Gaza killing eight people on each occasion.
On Thursday, another Israeli raid destroyed the Fun Time Beach cafe in the southern Gaza Strip, where dozens had been attempting to watch Argentina play the Netherlands. The attack killed nine people and wounded 15.
The latest Israeli aggression towards Gaza follows the discovery in the West Bank last week of the remains of three young Israeli citizens, allegedly killed by Palestinians. The deliberate targeting of the general Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip is being seen as collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.
Human rights groups have warned that the deaths of the three Israelis has been used to justify a terrifying aerial bombardment which may lead to a full ground invasion similar to that attempted by Israel in January 2009.
Israeli news media and senior politicians have made blood-thirsty demands to destroy Gaza and “return it to the stone age”.
“No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Tel Aviv on Friday.
Prior to the escalation of the assault on Gaza last week, Israeli attacks had also been taking place in the West Bank and Gaza where some 20 people were killed and at least 600 detained by Israeli occupation forces. Some two hundred of these remain in custody without charge.
Since September 2000, over 6,800 Palestinian have been killed by Israeli occupation forces or illegal settlers. Of those, the vast majority were civilians. According to Defence for Children International, over 1,400 of the fatalities were children -- an average of one Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces every 3.5 days for the past 14 years.
However, news coverage in Ireland of the recent crisis has again been heavily skewed in favour of Israel. While the deaths of the three Israeli teenagers featured on the front page of the Irish Times, along with images of the three, the deaths of two Palestinian children weeks earlier featured only in the sidebar on page two of the World News section.
“There was no front page story for them, no full colour picture,” the IPSC said. “Nor for the other 4 children killed by Israel this year, or the 26 adults. We have to ask – why are Israeli lives deemed to be worth more than Palestinian lives?”
Only a brutal attack this week by masked Israeli policemen on a 15-year-old U.S. citizen from Florida, who was visiting family in East Jerusalem, received prominent news coverage internationally.
The IPSC called on people to make sure they always boycott Israeli goods, from herbs to blood diamonds; to contact media outlets and complain about any biased coverage that de-humanises Palestinians and/or parrots Israeli state narratives; and to contact government politicians and let them know government inaction and support for Israel is unacceptable.
The following protests are organised for today, Saturday 12th July:
Dublin – 2pm The Spire, O’Connell Street
Derry – 2pm Guildhall Square
Limerick – 2pm Thomas Street
Cork – 2pm Daunt Square
* A protest was held in Galway this week as peace campaigner Margaretta D’Arcy was returned to Limerick prison for refusing to sign a bond over her protests at Shannon Airport.
Dressed in her famous “Guantanamo-style” orange boiler suit, Ms D’Arcy, who is suffering from cancer, told reporters in Galway she intended to abstain from food for an unspecificed length of time in support of prisoners everywhere and in solidarity with all those who had lost their lives, their communities and homes destroyed as a result of US military action.
She was sent to Limerick jail, where she faces a sentence of a further two weeks behind bars. Earlier this year, she served nine-and-a-half weeks of a three-month sentence for a similar offence.