More than 50 people, eight of them children, were killed by the Israeli military, during Palestinian protests on Monday along the Gaza border, the same day as the US controversially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem.
The deaths and injuries to more than 2,400 people came mostly from gunfire by Israeli forces, as Palestinians mark al-Nakbah, ('The disaster' or 'catastrophe' ), when more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes, and between 400-600 Palestinian villages were sacked, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which led to the foundation of the State of Israel. Israel says the protests have been orchestrated by Hamas, and that the actions were taken to protect Israel's borders and its citizens living close to Gaza.
The situation in Gaza has led to criticism and condemnation of Israeli actions, with many feeling the IDF use of forces was excessive. The Galway Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the NUI Galway Palestine Solidarity Society will hold a solidarity vigil this evening at 6pm in Eyre Square in protest at what it calls, "the current indiscriminate Israeli army killings in occupied Palestine". The vigil will also commemorate al-Nakbah, the anniversary of which falls on 15 May.
"This week alone, 52 peaceful protestors have been murdered by Israeli occupying forces for both protesting the US embassy being moved to Jerusalem and commemorating the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948," said Galway Palestine Solidarity Campaign spokesperson Joseph Loughnane. "We want to show our solidarity by asking the people of Galway to join us for a vigil in Eyre Square. Please bring a Palestinian flag if you have one."