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Crowe sends solidarity on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people

29 November, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Crowe TD has marked today’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people by focusing on the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Today is International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and unfortunately there is very little to celebrate this year.

“For decades the Palestinian people have suffered injustice, oppression, discrimination, and poverty, due to the actions and policies of Israel, and the gross inaction of key players in the international community.

“Even the most casual observer would have to concede that the day-to-day lives of Palestinian people, including those living in neighbouring countries as refugees, is worsening.

“Conditions for many Palestinians in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Jordon, have plummeted because of the Syrian civil war, and heightening tensions in the region.

“In the West Bank Israel continues to build illegal colonial settlements, commit human rights abuses, and deny Palestinians even the most basic of rights, like access to work, water, a roof over their heads, and freedom to travel.

“The situation in Gaza is even worse. Due to Israel’s illegal blockade and siege of the Gaza Strip over 80% of Gaza’s 1.7 million inhabitants are now reliant on humanitarian aid.

“In a move which has increased the stranglehold on these civilians, Egypt has closed the Rafah crossing, which was Gaza’s only lifeline to the outside world.

“Due to a current fuel shortage Gaza’s only power plant had to shut down three weeks ago and now Gaza’s power supply is limited to six hours a day.

“This has seriously disrupted even the most basic health services and will inevitably lead to loss of life as generators run out of fuel, and seriously ill patients on dialysis, or breathing apparatus, or those critical patients on life support, suffer from the power failure.

“These fuel and power shortages have also resulted in sending raw sewage flooding onto the streets, which hugely endangers the health of Gaza’s citizens.

“If this mounting crisis is not tackled head on, and if the international community don't act while this man-made crisis deepens, it will inevitably turn into a massive human catastrophe.

“Israel and Egypt must bear the responsibility for this current crisis and the international community must do everything they can to ensure that further lives are not lost.

“The siege of Gaza needs to be lifted and access to power, water, food, and everyday goods, restored. Dialogue through inclusive and meaningful talks need to start delivering change or an escalation of the conflict is unfortunately a certainty.

“Sinn Féin’s thoughts and solidarity are with the Palestinian people at this difficult time.

“We wholeheartedly support their just cause and peaceful struggle for their right to self-determination and independence.”


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