As death toll in Gaza rises to 172, Palestine campaigners call on Minister Flanagan to push for Israel sanctions
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has written to the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, asking him to call for sanctions to be imposed on Israel as a result of its latest assault on Gaza. The letter, asking Minister Flanagan to try to safeguard innocent Palestinian civilians and take action to end Israeli impunity, was sent as the death toll from Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ rose to 172.
Human rights organisations, including the internationally respected Palestinian Center for Human Rights, report that civilians have borne the brunt of this assault; 137 of the fatalities are civilians, including at least 34 children and 28 women, while 1,058 others, mostly civilians, have been wounded including 332 children and 212 women. The assault has also has seen family homes, a hospital and a home for disabled people targeted resulting in multiple deaths and injuries. This indiscriminate targeting of a captive civilian population amounts to collective punishment which is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Speaking about the contents of the letter to the Minister, IPSC media spokesperson Freda Hughes said, “we are asking the Irish government to call for the suspension of Israel from the EU-Israel Agreement, under which it is granted special EU trading privileges conditional on ‘respect for human rights’ which forms ‘an essential element of this Agreement’. We are also asking the Irish government to join the call from international civil society, and human rights organisations like Amnesty International, for an arms embargo on Israel. Finally, we have urged the government to apply pressure at EU level to push for an immediate end to Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza and to help broker a lasting ceasefire agreement which includes a lifting of the illegal blockade of Gaza.”
Another group who lobby for Palestinian rights, Sadaka, has also started an online petition calling on Minister Flanagan to summon Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland and demand an immediate cessation of Israeli bombing and shelling of Gaza and support Palestinian calls for immediate United Nations intervention to provide protection for civilians across the West Bank and Gaza from Israeli army and settler attacks. The petition also asks that he pressure the EU to help broker a ceasefire and ensures that Ireland fulfil its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention in relation to Israel.
You can sign the petition by clicking here.