Thousands of Palestinians have been protesting along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip as part of the Great March of Return movement. The grotesque, disproportionate and lethal response of the Israeli state has gone unpunished.
Israeli forces fired live ammunition at protesters, killed dozens of Palestinians during the past week, including 21 during and after the March 30th protests, and have injured more than 1,600 others. Eight Palestinians died on Friday alone. The use of lethal force, snipers, tanks and drones against unarmed protesters is symptomatic of the Zionist state’s disregard for Palestinians. Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a flagrant violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants.
On March 30th, the Palestinian people commemorated the 42nd anniversary of “Land Day” in which they expressed their continued opposition to the policies of the Israeli Zionist state, a state funded and supported by the US and the EU, which continues the confiscation and expropriation of Palestinian land, the uprooting and displacement of Palestinians and the continued brutalisation of the Palestinian people.
The Israeli state plans to build 240 settlement units in East Jerusalem, including the construction of 150 settlement units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement, as well as 90 settlement units in the Gilo area and the municipality of Jerusalem has approved building permits for 292 settlement units outside the Green Line. The Israeli government has also transferred millions of shekels to promote a plan to build a new settlement in the industrial area of Atarot in Jerusalem.
Palestine is being annexed piece by piece and the Palestinians contained in ever decreasing pockets of land in which Palestinians are isolated, imprisoned and confined, in line with the Zionist philosophy that Palestine can be occupied step by step until nothing remains. The annexation of Jerusalem, endorsed by the US, deprives Palestinians of their historic capital and severs Jerusalem’s vital social and economic connections to the rest of Palestinian society, restricting access by Muslim and Christian Palestinian communities to holy sites where they have worshipped since antiquity.
Any solution must address the full national rights of Palestinians living in the areas occupied in 1967 and the rights of Palestinians inside the 1948 borders and in the Diaspora. A just solution must implement and address the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their properties in Israel in accordance with U.N. Resolution 194 and an end to the construction of Jewish-only settlements that expropriate Palestinian land and resources and which progressively confine Palestinians to enclaves similar to apartheid South Africa.
The Workers Party endorses the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, supports the boycott of Israeli goods, events and institutions and condemns the overt and covert racism against Palestinians expressed by Israeli military, political and religious figures. Cllr Éilis Ryan, the Workers Party representative on Dublin City Council, will tonight vote for the motion on BDS.
The Workers Party demands that the Irish and UK governments take immediate, real and concrete action against Israel, including the expulsion of Israeli diplomats and the imposition of sanctions.
The Workers Party, recognising the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation, stands with the Palestinian people in their struggle, demands the immediate and unequivocal end of the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab lands, the urgent and unconditional release of all Palestinian political prisoners and reaffirms its support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their fight to regain their legitimate and inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, national independence and the establishment of a free, independent and sovereign state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.
Workers’ Party of Ireland