With the death toll in Gaza rising to more than 450 civilians, a motion before today’s meeting of the Galway City Council will demand an “immediate end” to Israeli attacks on the besieged region.
The motion will also demand that the Government expel the Israeli ambassador; for an arms embargo against the Israel, and for the EU to suspend Israel from the Euro-Med preferential trade agreement.
There will also be a demonstration outside City Hall at 3.30pm to show “solidarity with Gaza” and to urge councillors to back the proposal for the motion.
Sinn Féin councillors Máiréad Farrell, Anna Marley, and Cathal Ó Conchúir, are proposing the motion, which is also being supported by Labour’s Niall McNelis. Although it can do nothing of itself to persuade the Israeli government to end the strikes on Gaza, the motion is part of growing international criticism and condemnation of the strikes which have left 469 people dead, including a further 31 in the early hours of this morning.
The wide ranging motion calls for the Ambassador, Boaz Modai, to be expelled unless the current strikes end. It also calls for an end to “the illegal Israeli-imposed siege of Gaza”; for the Government to “condemn the current imposition of collective punishment” upon the people of Gaza; and express “a message of solidarity” to Palestinian political prisoners held under administrative detention.
The motion goes on to call for City Hall to seek a boycott, divestment, and sanction policy towards Israel “pending the successful outcome of above measures”; calls for “the immediate end of the use of administrative detention by Israel; the unconditional release of all such detainees; and condemnation of the force-feeding of hunger strikers.
The motion is from Galway Alliance Against War, Galway People Before Profit Alliance, Sinn Féin, and is backed by NUIG Palestinian Solidarity Society and We’re Not Leaving (Galway ).
According to local activist Dette McLoughlin, who was involved in the drafting and co-ordinating of the motion, the UN estimates that at least 77 per cent of those killed in the strikes are civilians.
“As human beings we must care that Palestinian children are being bombed and killed with no defence,” she said. “All people must have the right to live freely. We hope our councillors will have the courage to support this emergency motion.”