Scores of Palestinians have been shot dead in Gaza as Israel’s declaration of independence was marked by a mass slaughter of protestors gathered at the border.
Hundreds more were injured when Israeli snipers opened fire in a confrontation that also took place as the new US embassy in Jerusalem was being inaugurated, a statement of recognition for the Israeli occupation of the city.
The dead is currently put at 41 and includes 7 youths, a wheelchair-bound Palestinian protestor and a paramedic. More than 2,000 others were wounded in the ongoing massacre, with 100 in a critical or serious condition. The injured include 200 minors, 78 women and 11 journalists.
Thousands of demonstrators had again gathered at the border to call for the ‘Right to Return’ to their homes, setting fire to tyres and throwing stones over the border boundary wall.
Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson condemned the “brutal and violent actions” of the Israeli Defence Forces. Her party called on the Dublin government to expel the Israel ambassador.
“What is happening is northing short of a massacre,” she said.
“It is long past the time the international community, and the European Union in Particular, took action to oppose ongoing Israeli aggression and oppression and acted to defend the rights of the people of Palestine.”
Today’s massacre at the border is an escalation from similar atrocities committed by Israel in recent weeks. It took place ahead of the ‘Day of the Catastrophe’, or Nakba, the holocaust of 1948 when thousands or Palestinian Arabs were killed and more than 700,000 were expelled from their homes by Israeli forces.
Israel subsequently captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised outside the US. The Israeli government said today Ireland should now move its embassy to Jerusalem also.
In traditional doublespeak, Israeli government spokeswoman Michal Maayan said: “Moving embassies to Jerusalem isn’t stopping peace, it’s actually helping peace because it’s helping the Palestinians realise that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state of Israel and it helps them realise a reality that’s very important to us to go further on.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Ireland would not be moving its embassy to Jerusalem “unless and until there is a comprehensive agreement on a broader peace process”.
He said it was unwise for the US to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, because it was “inflaming an already very tense situation and relationship between Palestinians and Israelis”.