8 October, 2014
To the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, for the attention of Mr. Adama Dieng, and Ms. Jennifer Welsh:
While your statement that ‘the ongoing Israeli operations in Gaza’ could ‘demonstrate disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces’ is to be welcomed, your drawing an equivalence between Palestinian resistance groups and the Israeli military is most problematic and indeed contradicts the right to resist as enshrined in international law.
It is imperative that the United Nations do all in its power to end the illegal, immoral Israeli blockade of Gaza which is strangling everyday life there. Even outside of the murderous attacks such as that which we have just witnessed, the siege causes extreme damage to the entire infrastructure of Gaza, it impacts health, education, nutrition, farming, fishing, employment, culture, trade, every aspect of life. How can the UN stand by while this continues? It is an affront to humanity.
This summer’s attack on Gaza, the third such military assault in a six years, caused barbaric loss of life, with over 2,100 Palestinians dead, around 500 of whom were children, thousands were maimed, hundreds of thousands made homeless, more than 87 families were completely obliterated, wiped from the civil register. The pain and trauma is immeasurable, the destruction catastrophic. Homes, schools, universities, hospitals, mosques, farms, factories, the electricity plant were destroyed. It was a criminal and murderous few weeks, and there cannot be impunity for such war crimes.
Israel’s deliberate targeting of schools, hospitals, farms, the electricity plant and so much of the infrastructure required for basic living, make it an imperative that the UN conduct an enquiry as to whether Israel is committing the act of genocide against the Palestinian people.
While the focus of this letter has been on Gaza, the ethnic cleansing of so much of the West Bank, the constant killing of Palestinians, the apartheid regime they are subjected to, also demand that the spotlight be put on Israel for its crimes and that finally some concrete action is taken to protect the Palestinian people and uphold their inalienable rights.
Zoë Lawlor and Mags O’Brien,
Co-ordinators Gaza Action Ireland