***image1***For the past week Israel has been rampaging through Rafah, massacring civilians and demolitioning homes in an operation aimed at annihilating a major part of the refugee camp near the border between Gaza and Egypt. Part of this operation will be the continued construction of the 7km Iron Wall that runs through the border area. The building of Walls in Gaza and the West Bank is neither about Israeli security nor about separation, but rather as a means of control, land theft, imprisonment, and in the end expulsion. “Operation Rainbow,” as Israel titled the Rafah incursion, is nothing less than ethnic cleansing aimed at expanding the Israeli colonization of Palestinian lands, and a means to further the Occupation.
As soon as Occupation forces moved into Rafah international solidarity groups began mobilizing, voicing their protest, and organizing demonstrations. Below is a brief list of actions held around the world.
Protests have been taking place all across the UK against the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. From Wednesday to Friday a sit-in was held daily from 2:00pm – 6:30pm outside the Israeli embassy in London. The sit-in was called by the General Union of Palestine Students and supported by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
On Saturday May 22nd, the PSC also organized a protest in front of Number 10 Downing Street to call on Tony Blair to abide by the British government’s duty to implement international law and ensure that Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon implements a complete withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, and an end of the Occupation.
In Manchester a vigil was been held to protest against Israeli war crimes in Rafah.
In Glasgow on Friday May 21st, a public assembly was organized to call for an immediate stop of the Israeli “killing machine” in Gaza and to call for an end to the Occupation. The assembly also protested Blairâs support for Israel, and the British Government’s inaction to implement international law. While in Edinburgh protesters gathered in front of the US Consulate where speakers told of the horrors unfolding in Gaza.
IPSC Belfast Protests Against Slaughter in Gaza
On Saturday May 22nd, The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Belfast) held a symbolic protest outside Belfast City Hall at 11.00am to protest at the continuing slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza with placards, banners and Palestinian flags.
IPSC Dublin Protests Killings & House Demolitions in Rafah
On Saturday May 22nd, The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Dublin) set up a solidarity stall to protest the barbaric Israeli killings of Palestinians and home demolitions in the past week in Rafah, including the murder of school children Wednesday by Apache helicopters. As part of a world day of Solidarity Action called by Palestinians, IPSC groups in Dublin, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork joined with groups throughout the world to highlight these Israeli War Crimes, and call for EU and UN intervention. The Solidarity Stall was set up by the Central Bank, Dame Street, between 2-5pm.
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign calls on the international community to condemn these Israeli terrorist actions, and on the EU to sanction Israel by suspending the EU Association Agreement until these actions and the illegal occupation of Palestine ceases, and Israel withdraws to the 1967 internationally accepted Green Line. Israel is already in violation of over 65 UN resolutions.
The AFPS (the French-Palestine solidarity association) and CCIPPP released a statement condemning the recent killings and house demolitions in Rafah. The organisations are highlighting the false “concessions” given by the Israeli government with the “partial withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, a withdrawal that excludes the coast, the border with Egypt, particularly Rafah and other areas Israel considers essential to it’s “security”, while it accelerates the colonisation of the West Bank and the annexation of the settlements in the shadow of the Wall.” The statement demanded an immediate stop to the War against an entire people and called for international protection for the Palestinians and sanctions against Israel, such as the suspension of all cooperation agreements as long as Israel does not respect international law and human rights.
On Saturday May 22nd at 5pm at the Fontaine des Innocents a rally was held in solidarity with the people of Rafah.
The Netherlands Palestine Committee, in The Hague, organised a rally on Saturday May 22 between 12:00 – 13:00 in order to demonstrate against the killings in Rafah, the violence of the Occupation and to demand a Free Palestine.
The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition (ATC) called on the South African government to expel the Israeli ambassador as well as cut all trade and diplomatic ties with Israel, which it accused of “ethnic cleansing”. The ATC also organized a protest in front of the South African parliament on Friday May 20th, as President Thabo Mbeki delivered his State-of-the-Nation address.
“The main focus has been to do something… and we must target the South African government,” said ATC Western Cape chairman, Shaheed Mahomed. Mahomed continued by saying that the South African government was propping up the state of Israel, with, for example, continual weapons sales to the United States and Britain.
On Sunday May 23rd, in response to the week long attack on Rafah, the Palestine Activist Forum of New York (PAFNY), organized a protest to New York’s annual “Salute to Israel” parade.
While Palestinians are being killed…
While Palestinian homes are being bulldozed…
While Palestinian communities are being ghettoized by the Apartheid Wall…
New York is throwing a party for Israel.
The theme of this year’s Salute to Israel Parade is “Let’s go to Israel, NOW!”
We say, LET’S RETURN TO PALESTINE, NOW!
NO Political Assassinations!
NO Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians from their Land!
NO Apartheid Wall!
YES to Palestinian Right of Return!
It’s time to go home! Protest the Salute to Israel Parade!