Sir, – Today on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we mourn the more than 14,000 people, including at least 6,150 children, killed in Israel’s 48 days of bombing Gaza. Thousands have been wounded, and thousands more are buried under the rubble of their destroyed neighbourhoods. Hospitals, schools, refugee camps, universities, and libraries have been laid to waste by relentless bombardment, with much of the infrastructure required for life ruined. More than 1.7 million people have been forcibly displaced and everyone there has been deprived of food, water, fuel and power.
In the Occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least 237 Palestinians, including 52 children since October 7th, while imprisoning thousands, many without charge or trial. Communities are being driven from their lands under increasing violent attack by armed settlers.
There must be a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and an end to all attacks on Palestinians by Israel. There cannot simply be a return to a “normality” of continued siege and injustice.
For 75 years the Palestinian people have been deprived of their freedom and of equality as the international community has shamefully failed to hold Israel to account. It is long past time that the Irish Government sanctioned Israel; it should enact the Occupied Territories and Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bills, refer the state to the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide, recognise that it is committing the crime of apartheid and cut diplomatic ties. For seven weeks, thousands all around the country have taken to the streets in solidarity with the Palestinian people – let us see our Government reflect that demand for justice.
In the meantime, people of conscience can continue to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and keep calling for a free Palestine. – Yours, etc,