Irish horror at Israeli bombings in Palestine

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Irish groups have joined others around the world in expressing their shock and condemnation at escalating Israeli acts of war and war crimes against Palestinian communities.

At the time of writing, with Israeli attacks continuing, the BBC are reporting 126 Palestinians killed in Gaza since Monday, including more than 20 children and about a thousand injured.

Violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians have now spread across much of the occupied West Bank. At least 10 Palestinians are reported to have died in the West Bank unrest, while hundreds have been injured in the violence there also.

Missile and drone strikes have also struck key infrastracture targets leaving many areas without electricity and internet.

The air strikers have been as clinical as they are deadly. Among the first targets was the 12-story Hanadi Tower, a residential building, and the 14-story Al-Shorouk building, which housed a number of media organisations.

Hamas, the largest Palestinian armed group, has been responding with rockets fired towards Israeli areas, but their resistance remains largely symbolic.

“This is just the beginning,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday.

Announcing the killings of senior commanders of Hamas, he said: “We will hit them with strikes they have never dreamed of”.

In a recorded address to Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s defense minister vowed even greater destruction of Gaza than in 2014, when more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, were killed over a 50-day period.

The Israeli drive to all-out war on Palestinian communities has followed weeks of growing unrest. Shocking scenes have emerged of a renewed programme of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian areas in east Jerusalem, as well as from the al-Aqsa mosque in the city, where several hundred Palestinians were wounded after it came under attack from Israeli police.

A large crowd gathered at West Belfast’s International Wall in support of the Palestinian people on Wednesday evening, with representations from a number of republican and progressive groups.

Sinn Féin has called on the international community to “step in” to end ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. Party spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD expressed his dismay at the violence.

“What we are witnessing here is the outworking of Israel’s illegal policy of colonial expansion into Palestinian lands,” he said.

“The Palestinian people are victims twice over. They are victims of a brutal expansionist policy intent on the continuing annexation of Palestinian lands by Israeli settlers.

“And they are victims of the indifference of an international community unwilling to commit to the necessary action to put a permanent end to Israel’s persecution of them.”

He said that the escalation of Israel’s campaign of annexation demands immediate action.

“[26 County Minister of Foreign Affairs] Coveney has it within his power to bring the force of international moral pressure to bear on the apartheid policies of Israel,” he said.

Saoradh said the “Zionist aggression” against the people of Palestine should be “outrightly condemned by all”.

“Their repeated bombing of residential and civilian areas amounts to war crimes and the international community should be ashamed to stand by as men, women and children are murdered in their beds,” they said.

“Zionists have been deliberately stoking tensions for the past number of months. The Palestinian people have a right to resist this aggression and denial of their human rights.”

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