Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire and urgent access for humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza who are experiencing unprecedented bombardment by the Israeli military.
Addressing hundreds of thousands of people in London today, the North Belfast MP said:
“Today we stand together in our hundreds of thousands as Gaza is being destroyed before the eyes of the world as Israel unleashes its full military might on a defenceless population.
“Over 20,000 children, women and men dead or injured, more than a million Palestinians displaced, and countless homes, hospitals and schools turned to rubble.
“Day after day we hear of the horror emanating from Gaza, the unimaginable pain, suffering and death, a deliberately enforced tragedy made worse by an Israeli’s government’s desire to inflict more pain, more suffering.
“A whole population denied the most basic of human rights by the Israeli Government, with no proper access to water, food, medicine, and electricity and communications with the outside world have been cut.
“The Israeli government must grant access and safety to the UN and other humanitarian agencies to fulfil their duties.
“There must be immediate humanitarian access for Gaza and the adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law.
“Our message to the Israeli government is clear and simple – STOP.
“Stop the bombing of Gaza. Stop the blockade of Gaza. Stop the occupation, illegal settlements and apartheid.
“The international community must step up and call for a full, immediate ceasefire. Hostages must be returned.
“All efforts must focus on ceasefires, dialogue and a negotiations process that can deliver a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based upon the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
“Make no mistake that over the past weeks, the millions of people, like us all here today, taking to the streets and demanding the end of the cruel suffering of the Palestinian people, is a voice that can not be ignored, that will not be ignored.”