Christian Aid condemns use of excessive force & violence in Gaza Strip

Christian Aid Ireland condemns excessive force and violence in Gaza

Christian Aid Ireland has condemned the excessive use of force along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel after renewed violence broke out today during the third week of protests.

Israel’s deployment of tanks and snipers against Palestinian demonstrators has reportedly resulted in 34 dead and hundreds of injuries.

Christian Aid partner organisation, Adalah, has raised concerns that the Israeli military’s use of snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal.

Christian Aid Ireland’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Sorley McCaughey said: “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel is obligated to act in accordance with international law.

“Does Israel really believe that turning their guns on demonstrators is the answer? This issue will never go away until equality, equity, humanity and dignity are the norm for all.

“For Israelis and Palestinians to be truly secure, democratic and peaceful, and for an end to the poverty that degrades the lives of so many Palestinians, Israel’s occupation and control over their lives must end and all must be treated equally.”

Up to two million people have been effectively locked up for 10 years in this tiny strip of land since Israel imposed its complete closure on Gaza, which it enforces from the sea, land and air. Egypt too has closed its border with Gaza.

Mr McCaughey added: “As the World Bank has stated, unemployment in Gaza is now the highest in the world at over 40%, and much higher amongst the young.  Electricity fluctuates between 2 and 4 hours a day and raw sewage flows into the sea leaving a vile stench in the air. Chronically sick patients are denied access to urgent healthcare outside. Families are separated for years on end. Palestinian political parties are completely divided to the point of inflicting violence upon each other. And the UN has predicted that it will be uninhabitable by 2020. It should not surprise anyone that people are demonstrating and want to be able to move freely.”

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