IT HAS been almost six months of ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people, with Gaza Strip bearing the brunt of Israel's barbaric assault.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israel's indiscriminate bombing of residential areas, hospitals, schools, universities and humanitarian aid and relief centres, in breach of the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, with most of the victims being women and children.

The situation in the West Bank is not much better, with illegal Israeli settlers becoming increasingly violent towards the Palestinian civilians, attacking their land and properties, and threatening them with ethnic cleansing under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces.

In the face of such atrocities, and while most of the world governments are complicit, either by their silence or by continuing to supply Israel with weapons used against the Palestinians, the solidarity movement with the Palestinian people in Belfast has been outstanding. 

As the Palestinian community in Belfast, we are very grateful to all the solidarity groups, political parties, trade unions, churches, and other organisations, and every individual who showed solidarity in any way they can to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people. 

In any movement, however, we recognise that at times there will be disagreements and different opinions. We believe that this is normal and that all different views are equally entitled to be heard and respected. Such differences also should not be allowed to escalate and become divisive and distract away from the main demands of the Palestinian People. 

In these very dark days of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice, we kindly ask all local solidarity groups to focus on the following issues: 

  • Immediate ceasefire.
  • Stopping the genocide.
  • Allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. 
  • Withdrawing the Israeli occupation forces from Gaza.
  • Allowing displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in Gaza.
  • Lifting the illegal blockade on Gaza.

Mohammad Sammena

Palestinian Community NI