Date Released: 22 July 2014
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign today welcomed the Irish government's announcement that it would send €500,000 in emergency aid to the UN emergency appeal for Gaza, but added that aid was not a solution to the ongoing problem of the brutality of Israeli occupation, colonisation and apartheid.
Freda Hughes, IPSC media spokesperson said, "This is a welcome move from the Irish government because Gaza is facing a crisis of unthinkable proportions. However, emergency aid alone is not enough, concrete political action to sanction Israel for its ongoing crimes is required, and required immediately. Over 540 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians have been killed in Israel's latest onslaught. All manner of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals have been deliberately targeted. Whole neighbourhoods have been destroyed. Israel acts in flagrant violation of international law, and is allowed do so with complete impunity. It must be sanctioned by states if those states' commitments to upholding human rights norms and international law are to be taken seriously."
Ms Hughes continued, "The IPSC believes that the Irish government has a responsibility to lead calls for an end to this impunity. The government must listen to Palestinian civil society and call for an EU arms embargo on Israel, and for Israel's suspension from the Euro-Med agreement which grants it special trading privileges. There are also growing calls from Irish people to break diplomatic relations with Israel. In addition, we believe that people in Ireland have a role to play by boycotting Israeli products, from diamonds to plastics to potatoes, and complaining about their presence in retail outlets."
Ms Hughes concluded: "What is clear is that failure to sanction Israel has not stopped its continual attacks on Palestinians and their society. On the contrary, this impunity emboldens it to continue such brutality. Over 7,000 Palestinians and counting, at least 1,400 of them children, have been killed in 14 years. Aid, though welcome, will not bring an end to this slaughter. Only concrete political action that holds Israel to account for its continuing crimes will."