Irish group’s cautious welcome for Gaza ceasefire
A CESSATION of the assault on Gaza is to be welcomed, but we must ensure it brings a just and lasting peace and an end to the siege of the Palestinian territory, Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) said today.
“The people of Gaza have been traumatised by seven weeks of constant bombardment, death and injury, displacement and wanton destruction of their homes and most of their infrastructure and on that basis we welcome any respite from Israel’s violence,” GAI coordinator Zoe Lawlor said.
“However, this is the third occasion in six years that Gaza has been subjected to sustained attack by Israel, with devastating results,” Lawlor added. “The damage to Gaza’s infrastructure is worse than that in 1967. According to military analysts, the explosive power of the bombs was equal to the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima.”
Lawlor continued: “We in Gaza Action Ireland mourn the barbaric loss of life, with over 2,100 Palestinians dead, around 500 of whom were children. The psychological trauma caused by the attack cannot be underestimated and the scars will stay with the living forever.”
Mags O’Brien, another GAI coordinator, said: “The full terms of the ceasefire are as yet unclear but seem to be little more than previous ceasefire agreements, which failed to address the root causes of the ongoing conflict, that of Israel’s stranglehold control over every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip and, more fundamentally, the future and the autonomy of an independent state of Palestine.
Minister Flanagan criticised as protesters ‘besiege’ Israeli embassy in Dublin
More than 150 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin between 1pm and 2pm today to demand that the Irish government take action against the Israeli state. The colourful vigil, organised by Gaza Action Ireland, took the form of a peaceful symbolic ‘siege’ of the embassy with protesters ringing the perimeter and calling for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.
Speaking to the crowd, ex-rugby international and Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member Trevor Hogan forcefully criticised the inaction of Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.
“In July 2011 Charlie Flanagan publicly demanded the expulsion of the Papal Nuncio following the horrific revelations in the Cloyne Report, but he seems unwilling to take action now against the Israeli ambassador despite the appalling atrocities carried out in Gaza. We have to ask why? UN schools and refugee centres have been attacked and hundreds of children killed. The blockade of Gaza is itself illegal under international law. If it was right to expel the Papal Nuncio in 2011, it is surely right to expel the Israeli ambassador now. Enough is enough. Ambassador Modai is an apologist and propagandist for war criminals”, he said.
For Minister Flanagan’s call to expel the Papal Nuncio, click here:
Mr Hogan continued: “Minister Flanagan needs to be more robust in his interaction with the Israeli government because so far he has failed utterly to reflect the sentiment of most Irish people which is sheer horror at what is happening to Gaza. The Israeli government wants to enforce a slow death on the people of Gaza with its illegal siege, suffocating every aspect of life. The right to a seaport, to an airport, to an economy, to a livelihood, these are not negotiating issues – they are obligations that must be met. Israeli governments have grown used to committing crimes – they can no longer be allowed to act with such impunity. The Irish government must argue within the EU for strong sanctions against Israel.”
Notice from Gaza Action Ireland, for immediate release
Event: Symbolic ‘siege’ of Israeli embassy, vigil for Gaza
Time: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 1pm to 2pm
Location: Israeli embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin
A vigil, organised by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), to call for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and to remember those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks will be held at the Israeli embassy in Dublin this Thursday at lunchtime.
The most recent figures issued by the Health Ministry in Gaza indicate that the death toll from Israel’s assault over the past few weeks has risen to 2,016, including 541 children. Gaza Action Ireland believes that the EU and the Irish government must take action to isolate Israel in the wake of this massacre to ensure that it is never repeated. We are also calling for an immediate end to all aspects of the Israeli blockade.
The gathering on Thursday, called by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), comes after ex-rugby international and GAI member Trevor Hogan passionately called on protesters at a recent national demonstration to symbolically besiege the embassy.
“Hundreds of children have been murdered in Gaza in the past few weeks and it cannot be business as usual with a government that behaves in this way. The Irish government would be sending a strong message to Israel that the blockade of Gaza is unacceptable if it took decisive action and expelled its ambassador to Dublin – the minister must act,” Hogan, who will attend the vigil, said today. He added: “Minister Flanagan has stated that he will only expel an ambassador in exceptional circumstances but the crippling blockade of Gaza and the massacre of thousands of civilians are surely exceptional circumstances. If they are not, what are?”
This hour-long symbolic siege will call for an end to the Israeli war on the civilians of Gaza and for a permanent lifting of the siege on that territory.
Up to 300 protesters formed a symbolic siege around Dublin’s Israeli embassy today, calling for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and remembering those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks.
“This embassy has been the source of a string of shameful lies,” Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member and ex-rugby international Trevor Hogan told the crowd. “Lies about Palestine, lies about the siege of Gaza, and lies about Irish activists.
“While Israel maintains its violent, murderous siege on Gaza, we should keep coming back for peaceful, symbolic ones here, until the ambassador is told to pack his bags and leave Ireland,” Hogan added.
This hour-long event, organised by GAI, saw protesters spread out around the perimeter of the south Dublin office block that houses the embassy. Fatin Al-Tamimi, who has many relatives suffering under the siege and assault in Gaza, walked along the line reading the names of the dead.
“Ambassador Modai and his team are apologists and spokespersons for war criminals, for a regime that in the past five weeks has murdered nearly 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza including hundreds of children,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said.
The colourful vigil also included readings of poetry from Gaza and was addressed by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.
Video of the Event, including interview with Trevor Hogan, GAI
Notice from Gaza Action Ireland – Event: Symbolic ‘siege’ of Israeli embassy, vigil for Gaza
Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 1pm to 2pm
Location: Israeli embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin
A vigil to call for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and to remember those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks will be held at the Israeli embassy in Dublin on Wednesday at lunchtime.
The gathering, called by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), comes after ex-rugby international and GAI member Trevor Hogan passionately called on protesters at a national demonstration last Saturday to symbolically besiege the embassy.
“We should not allow diplomatic status to be accorded to the representatives of a terror state,” Hogan, who will attend the vigil, said today.
This hour-long symbolic siege will call for an end to the Israeli war on the civilians of Gaza and for a lifting of the siege on that territory.
“Ambassador Modai and his team are apologists and spokespersons for war criminals, for a regime that in the past month has murdered nearly 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza including hundreds of children,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said.
“They have Gaza under siege – let us put them under siege until the Israeli ambassador is told to pack his bags and leave Ireland,” Hogan added.
The colourful vigil, which will include readings of poetry from Gaza and silent remembering of the dead, will assemble at 1pm outside the Israeli embassy at 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin.