The Irish Anti-Apartheid Campaign for Palestine (IAAC-P) is a coalition of 23 Irish civil society organisations representing a collective membership of over one million people across the island.
We mourn, without reservation, the taking of all civilian life, in Gaza, in Israel and across the occupied Palestinian territory; and we condemn all unlawful acts which deliberately target or recklessly endanger civilians, including all acts of collective punishment against a population under siege.
We also make an urgent call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the occupied Gaza Strip and Israel to prevent further loss of civilian lives and to ensure access to life-saving aid for people in Gaza amidst an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
Drawing on evidence gathered over decades by the United Nations and international and local human rights organisations, it is recognised that Israel imposes an institutionalised regime of oppression, discrimination and domination over Palestinians across all the territory under its effective control, between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, and among Palestinian refugees. This is apartheid, and it is a crime against humanity in international law.
Since 1948 millions of Palestinians have been forcibly removed and transferred; they have had their lands confiscated and their homes demolished; they have been imprisoned without trial, and forced to live in isolated and fragmented enclaves with limited freedom of movement.
Successive Israeli governments have transferred more than 700,000 settlers onto occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and have created separate legal and administrative systems for Palestinians and Israelis. They have also denied nationality and citizenship to millions of Palestinians.
Gaza is the most extreme manifestation of Israel’s apartheid regime of racial domination, territorial fragmentation, forcible transfer, segregation and exclusion.
The international community, particularly the United States and the European Union, has failed over decades to provide the Palestinian people with a genuine path to justice and equality.
The near-total support for Israel and its policies has been disastrous for Palestinians, and indeed for Israelis. It is time for honesty: we must no longer enable the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people. Those with the power to do so must, instead, and as a matter of urgency, create a political process leading to an end to decades of injustice and violence which has been imposed on the Palestinian people.
In the current crisis, we call on the Government to redouble its efforts to bring an end to war in Gaza. We call on our representatives to stand by the Secretary General of the United Nations in his recognition of the root causes of the current conflict; we call on them to ensure the International Criminal Court investigates as a matter of urgency all potential war crimes arising from the current hostilities; and more immediately to facilitate the urgent delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid to the besieged population of Gaza.
Beyond this, every effort must be made to seek a long-term political solution for Palestinians and Israelis. Anything less will only lead to constant war and the ongoing destabilisation of an entire region. The Palestinian people have endured decades of suffering. We must not continue to fail them.
Peace, for Palestinians and Israelis, is only possible through justice for the Palestinian people.