Day 14 – Gaza Update from PSC
National Demonstration Tomorrow – A Direct Appeal from Betty Hunter
There is less than 24 hours to go before the PSC’s next national demonstration. From all the information we have been receiving in the office over the last week it is clear to us that tomorrow will see the largest ever demonstration in support of the people of Palestine. Local PSC groups across the country have been working tirelessly to make sure that the policies and principles of the PSC are seen and heard.
If you’ve yet to decide if you are coming, please do make every effort to be there. This is genuinely your opportunity to be part of a momentous movement and to show to the Israeli government that their barbarity will not go unchecked. It is an opportunity to make clear to Gordon Brown that the UK government must take direct economic and diplomatic action to halt the massacre in Gaza and, finally and equally important, to show the people of Gaza that they are not alone and that millions of people world wide support their legitimate right to a free and peaceful Palestinian state.
The demonstration will leave Speakers Corner, Hyde Park at 12.30 and then march to the Israeli Embassy, then on to a rally at Kensington Gardens. Please come along to the PSC stall to help us on the day, from 10:30am, if you can.
More evidence is emerging of the callous and barbaric way the Israeli Government and the IDF are executing their war against the innocent people of Gaza. Two incidents clearly show that Israel is committing some of the worst war crimes ever to be inflicted on a national population.
An incident uncovered by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the town of Zeitoun in the east of Gaza shows the depravity of the IDF in their treatment of women, children and the injured.
Yesterday it came to light that the Israeli Defence Force had established a command position near some bombed houses. For four days they sat there while twenty people, several of them wounded, were forced to remain inside without water, food or medical treatment. But the most grotesque thing these twenty survivors of the IDF had to face was to be trapped in the ruins with the corpses of their dead relatives. Children were forced to lie side by side with their dead mothers. Husbands were forced to lie next to the rotting corpses of their dead wives.
So weak were the survivors after four days without food and water that when the Red Cross finally gained access to them they all had to carried out. For days the IDF refused to allow the Red Cross access – for days the IDF were aware of the plight of the women and children inside the building and for days they did nothing. By any standard, moral or legal, the actions of the IDF in Zeitoun are an affront to humanity.
Read more here
And the normally sedate and reserved Red Cross are unable to control themselves with what is happening in Gaza
The depravity with which the Israeli Government is inflicting death on the people of Gaza reached a new low today as news began to leak out of yet another Israeli war crime in the town of Zeitoun.
According to the United Nations the events in a second shelter in the town represents ‘one of the gravest events since the beginning of the offensive.’
Eyewitness accounts obtained by the UN describe how, on the 4th January, the IDF rounded up 110 people, half of them children and moved them into a single story home. The IDF told the people they were being led to their safety.
Then 24 hours later the IDF bombed the shelter killing 30 people. According to the Red Cross and the UN, the IDF’s refusal to allow humanitarian access to the area for four days was because of this incident.
Following this incident the Red Cross issued a statement on the deaths of children killed by the Israeli Army in which they said that there had been a 250% increase in deaths to children since the ground invasion.
Read more by click these links
At the PSC we believe that these two examples among the hundreds of atrocities committed by the Israeli Government are clear evidence of the systematic abuse of international law by Israel and that, once independent monitors are able to gain access to Gaza, then the scale of the war crimes committed will become even clearer.
In the coming weeks PSC will be working with a number of legal experts and human rights lawyers to see how we can bring to justice those who committed these acts and, vitally, those who order these crimes against humanity.
Write to your MP
After their Christmas break, MPs will return to the House of Commons on Monday 12th January. It is vitally important that every Member of Parliament is aware of the deep opposition of the country to Israel’s illegal war in Gaza.
PSC has produced a letter that you can send to your MP – It’s very simple to fill in, takes just a few minutes to complete and by doing so, we can maintain the pressure.
Please fill out the letter by visiting
What can you do?
The daily carnage unfolding in Gaza has to be stopped and you can make a difference.
Join our protests – taking place across the country – check our website for details of the closest protest to you. These include:
· Protesting outside the Israeli Embassy. Protests have been taking place every night at the gates of the Embassy between 5.30 –7.00. The nearest tube is High Street Kensington.
· On Saturday 10 January you can join the national demonstration supported by over 30 organisations. PSC are working with Stop the War, the British Muslim Initiative, CND and many other organisations to bring an end to the massacre. We will be assembling at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park at 12.30 (nearest tube Marble Arch) and then marching past the Israeli Embassy to a rally. Coaches are being organised from up and down the country – check www.palestinecampaign.org for details. If you are unable to get to London for the national demonstration then many local PSC groups across the UK are holding their own demonstrations. So either contact your local PSC group or visit the PSC website to find out if there is an event happening close to you.
· On Monday 12 January, parliament returns – we will be protesting from 2pm in Parliament Square to call for action from the British government. Please join us there! There will also be a 24-hour vigil for Gaza, in Parliament Square.
Finally we need your financial support – Over the last 11 days PSC has mobilised over 100,000 people to oppose the slaughter in Gaza, with 70,000 alone coming to our national demonstration last weekend.
But building for these demonstrations costs a great deal of money – leaflets, posters and placards are all vital for us to get our message out but cost large amounts of money.
So if you are able to make a donation that will help us maintain the national and international pressure on the Israeli and British Governments, and support the Palestinians, then please contribute via the website www.palestinecampaign.org; call the PSC office on 020 7700 6192 or send cheques to PSC, Box BM PSA, London WC1N 3XX