Solidarity with Palestine

Having proudly marched for peace in the Le Chéile national demonstration in March, Dominican Sisters have continued to show solidarity with the people of Palestine. As the death toll in Gaza passed 34,000, a senior UN human rights official, Volker Türk, recently warned of starvation and man-made famine in the crowded territory, and said that this could amount to a war crime by Israel.
As the eyes of the world rightly turn to the horrendous situation in Gaza, we recognise the need to also pay attention to the West Bank, where violence has escalated in the 6 months of the conflict in Gaza. In April, we hosted an event with a Human Rights monitor from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel who had recently returned from volunteering in the West Bank. Through stories, videos and photos from one village in the South Hebron hills, we heard of the daily grind of arbitrary army checkpoints, of aggression from armed settlers against young and old Palestinians, of a frightening 2.5km walk to school for young children facing intimidation from residents of a nearby settlement deemed illegal under international law. We heard of a life made so unlivable that many Palestinians leave, making way for new State-backed Israeli settlements.
At the beginning of May, Sisters joined Dublin 7 locals and the Bohemian Football Club Friends of Palestine group at a weekly community solidarity protest in Cabra, Dublin 7, to support the people of Gaza.
Sisters also joined an emergency rally for Rafah in May outside Dáil Eireann, which called for sanctions against Israel and for no attacks on Rafah. Rafah is a city in the southern Gaza Strip, which normally has a population of 172,000 people. In recent months, it is estimated that some 1.4 million people have been sheltering in Rafah, having fled from other parts of the Gaza Strip. On 6th May, the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of Rafah, ahead of a planned bombardment, leading people to flee without a clear and safe destination.
We continue to pray for a swift and just resolution to the conflict and to the occupation.