Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sligo stands in solidarity with the people of Gaza

Dozens of people took part in a demonstration on Hyde Bridge in Sligo today (Dec 31) as part of Gaza: A Month of Remembrance, a series of nationwide activities organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).

The events, including today's "Human Chain" demonstration across Hyde Bridge, were organised to commemorate the more than 1400 Palestinians slaughtered during the Israeli military assault on Gaza twelve months ago and to highlight the continuing siege by Israel of Gaza in defiance of International law. Similar demonstrations were held in other towns and cities around Ireland and worldwide.

Amongst those taking part today was Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey who, following the demonstration, called for a boycott of all Israeli goods and the complete severing of diplomatic links with the Israeli regime.

He said: "Today's events were important in ensuring that the slaughter by the Israeli regime of more than 1400 Palestinians in Gaza twelve months ago is not forgotten. However, while that military assault may have ended last January, the state of Israel and its military apparatus continues to impose its inhumane and illegal siege of the 1.5 million people living in this Palestinian territory."

He added: "These people continue to live sealed off from the outside world, in what many people have described as an "open prison".

"The entire economic and social infrastructure of Gaza was destroyed by the military assault last year which was dubbed "operation Cast Lead" by the Israeli regime. Schools and homes were deliberately targeted and destroyed as were the water and sewage systems."

He continued: "Chris Gunness of the UN relief agency UNRWA said earlier this week that Gaza had been 'bombed back, not to the Stone Age, but to the mud age'. He was referring to the fact that the agency was being forced to build houses out of mud due to Israel’s ban on construction materials being allowed into Gaza. More than 60,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed during the month long attack, thousands of which remain in ruins as a result of what Mr Gunness described as 'this senseless blockade'."

"The everyday reality of life in Gaza is that people are dying and will continue to die of treatable illness and disease as a result of a lack of adequate medical supplies and medical care. Earlier this year the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that more than 10% of children were suffering from chronic malnutrition. This appalling situation arises from a deliberate policy by the Israeli Zionist regime to collectively punish the people of Gaza, in violation of International law, by preventing basic necessities from getting into Gaza in the quantities that they are needed."

"This is unacceptable and must be challenged head on. Its long past time for those leaders responsible for the war crimes committed against the people of Gaza last year, and for the continuing barbaric siege, to be brought to justice."

He concluded: "We must stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to a free and independent Palestine. It's long past time the Dublin government expelled the Israeli ambassador and severed all its links with the Israeli regime. There is also an urgent need for an all-out boycott of Israeli produce and business, as happened with South African goods in the 1980s and which played a significant role in eventually bringing that apartheid regime to an end. We need to make Ireland, an Israeli - free zone."

For further information on upcoming events in the IPSC's Gaza: A Month of Remembrance please click here

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