gazaIsrael has launched at least 16 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since last night. This is the third such assault since the end of the war on Gaza last summer which killed over 2100 Palestinians, including 500 children. This is unacceptable and the Irish government should hold Israel accountable.

In April the Association of International Development Agencies, which includes Oxfam, Save the Children and the Norwegian People’s Aid, called for a suspension of arms transfers to Israel and the revocation of arms export licenses as an urgent requirement to address the root cause of repeated wars and benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. The aid agencies also called on EU countries to use the EU-Israel Association Agreement as a form of pressure on Israel until it meets its international obligations. They explicitly asked governments to issue clear guidance to national companies, state-owned companies and pension and investment funds, to ensure they do not invest in companies involved in Israeli violations of international law.

rbb gazaRichard Boyd Barrett said: “This latest attack on Gaza must be condemned by the international community. We cannot stand by silently while Israel unleashes further devastation on a civilian population which is still recovering from the unspeakable horrors of Israel’s bombing campaign last summer.

Just last week the World Bank said that Gaza’s economy is on the verge of collapse. Its unemployment rate is the highest in the world and 100,000 people are still homeless because Israel bombed their houses into smithereens.

Have people in Gaza not suffered enough from these assaults and from the seven year Israeli blockade? It really is obscene we continue to deal with Israel as though it were a normal state.

As a matter of priority, Ireland should lead by example and follow the guidelines issued by the Association of International Development Agencies last month in its report on the situation in Gaza. That means issuing clear guidelines to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, and linking trade to accountability. Our government should act immediately. “

World Bank Report:

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/05/21/gaza-economy-on-the-verge-of-collapse?CID=EXT_TWBN_D_EXT

Association of International Development Agencies Report:

https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-charting-new-course-stalemate-gaza-130415-en.pdf