Irish leaders urged to act for Gaza
Irish leaders urged to act for Gaza


An Irish citizen in Gaza City has made an emotional plea for help from Irish politicians and world leaders as he and his Dublin-born family face death in the continuing Israeli annihilation of Gaza.

Zak Hania spoke to Irish state-run television from his home, where he is living in darkness with his wife and four children, all of whom are Irish citizens, as Israeli airstrikes continue to bombard the besieged enclave around them.

“I am helpless I can’t do anything for them, and we hear the planes and we don’t know are we going to be next or not. We feel we are closer to death than life,” Mr Hania told RTE.

Mr Hania lives within the ‘evacuation zone’ as defined by Israeli military, but he has been unable to leave as members of his family are immobile.

“I find it hard to leave my nieces alone, they need me, and my uncle’s wife is paralysed and my uncle is old and his health is not good, they live next to my house, I don’t know - I can’t leave them, very difficult situation,” he said.

“There is no proper place to go to. It’s humiliating to be honest.”

The Gaza strip is home to 2.3m people, half of whom are children.

Since an attack by Palestinian resistance fighters on 7 October, the Israeli military has launched and expanded an air and land campaign aimed at destroying Gaza. Hospitals and refugee centres have been particularly targeted.

So far 8,796 people, including 3,648 children, have been killed, according to the Health Ministry.

“We are civilians, we are just people in our homes, we are doing nothing. Why are they attacking civilians and killing kids? Why?” Mr Hania asked.

He called for Irish and western leaders to intervene in the conflict and demand a ceasefire.

“Mr Varadkar, Mr Micheál Martin, do something. Ireland has to do something, Ireland had a distinguished position in this world, please ring Mr Biden and ask him for a ceasefire,” Mr Hania said.

“Joe Biden says he’s Irish. Irish people don’t do things like this.

“We are dying by the minute and we are not sure if we will stay alive or not.”

“This is terrible, this is horror, this is genocide. What are people, what is the world waiting for?”

The right-wing government in Dublin has been very slow to recognise the nature of the campaign being waged against the people of Gaza.

However, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said this week he was “shocked” at the Israeli murder of over a hundred people at the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. The attack on the camp, home to tens of thousands of Palestinians displaced by a previous ethnic cleansing campaign, was “not proportionate”, he said.

In Belfast, the leaders of the main political parties in the North including Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill have been holding meetings with US figures, including Joe Kennedy III, US Special Envoy to the north of Ireland, and Jane Hartley, US Ambassador to Britain. But amid renewed promises of US investment in the north of Ireland, there was no discussion of the intensive Israeli bombardment, or any criticism of the support lent to it by the Biden administration.

The failure to discuss the crisis angered People before Profit, who said the US administration had been “wined and dined... while Gaza burns”.

“The US has a unique ability to rein Israel in,” they said in a statement.

“As missiles rain down, every elected political leader in Ireland should be banging down the doors of the US counterparts, demanding a ceasefire, demanding an end to ethnic cleansing.”

It has emerged that Sinn Féin has also instructed its councillors not to support motions calling for action against Israel, such as the expulsion of the Israeli ambassadors. Instead, the party continues to back calls for a ceasefire and humanitarian relief.

Speaking at a giant London solidarity demo of over a hundred thousand people last weekend, Sinn Féin MP John Finucane called for urgent aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

“Our message to the Israeli government is clear and simple – STOP,” he told the crowd.

“Stop the bombing of Gaza. Stop the blockade of Gaza. Stop the occupation, illegal settlements and apartheid.

“The international community must step up and call for a full, immediate ceasefire. Hostages must be returned,” the North Belfast MP said.

“All efforts must focus on ceasefires, dialogue and a negotiations process that can deliver a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based upon the creation of a viable Palestinian state.”


* Protests continue to take place around Ireland on a daily basis. This weekend will see a candlelight vigil take place at the Spire in Dublin at 6pm on Friday, while marches and rallies are also due to take palce on Saturday in Belfast, Cork, Waterford, Athlone, among others. Details of these and other protests are available at:

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