Irish-Palestinian man says 44 members of extended family killed in Gaza

Irish-Palestinian man says 44 members of extended family killed in Gaza

An Irish-Palestinian man who says 44 members of his extended family have died during Israel’s attacks in Gaza has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing”.

Ahmed Alagha said some of his family members had been killed by Israeli air strikes.

“It is no surprise because in the Gaza Strip there are no safe locations to hide out from, to make an attempt to keep your family safe and sound. There is no region that is safe there,” he said.

Mr Alagha was speaking to the media for an Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) press conference announcing a demonstration to be held on Saturday November 18.

“You’re looking at a situation in Gaza that is basically a bloodbath. Well over 12,000 people are dead. They estimate 2-3,000 people are still in the rubble, dying a slow painful death – many of them children, many of them women, many of them elderly,” he said.

“It is a never-ending situation.”

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Betty Purcell, of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ahmed Alagha, and Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Alagha added: “I think it has come to a situation where people are just waiting to die because they see no hope, they see no end of the line.

“They have no faith anymore on the outside world to save them.

“It’s beyond a humanitarian crisis at this stage, it’s a clear genocide and the world is watching. You just wonder why world leaders aren’t taking further action.”

He said he has seen images of children drinking from dirty pipes because they had no other water source.

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Ahmed Alagha and Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik (Brian Lawless/PA)

“75% of the buildings now have either been totally destroyed or partially destroyed. Nowhere’s really liveable, most people are in tents. All of the worst nightmares you can think of are there.”

He added: “There’s dogs eating bodies on the streets now because they don’t have the time to bury them because there’s too many being killed and if the buried them, they might be shot by the IDF.”

Mr Alagha said seven members of his extended family have successfully left Gaza into Egypt.

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Actor Liam Cunningham during a press conference at Buswells Hotel (Brian Lawless/PA)

Supporting the upcoming demonstration march, Irish actor Liam Cunningham said for Irish people not to stand in solidarity would be to “betray our own history”.

The Game Of Thrones star said: “This bombardment and genocide has to stop for a number of reasons. Obviously, the horrors that is happening to the Palestinian people and the ongoing apartheid.

“For another reason to protect ourselves. If we allow ourselves to accept this behaviour, then we allow it to happen to us. We have to stand up for standards. We have to stand up for international law and it reduces us as human beings if we don’t.”

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Actor Liam Cunningham, Social Democrats’ Cian O’Callaghan, People Before Profit’s Gino Kenny, Betty Purcell of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ahmed Alagha, and Labour leader Ivana Bacik (Brian Lawless/PA)

Irish Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik described Mr Alagha’s loss as “unthinkable”.

Speaking at the press conference, Ms Bacik said Israel’s attacks were amounting to “genocidal action”.

“Bringing about an immediate humanitarian ceasefire has to be the key focus for all of us and for the international community,” she said.

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Social Democrats deputy leader Cian O’Callaghan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Social Democrats deputy leader Cian O’Callaghan called for the Irish government to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court and to press for a suspension of the EU-Israel trade agreement.

He said: “There’s a number of concrete actions the government can take, and they’re not taking any of them. This, I think, is completely unacceptable. They’re out of step with the Irish people on this.”

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny called for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

He said: “People have gone out in their tens of thousands in relation to what they’re seeing on the screens.

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People Before Profits TD Gino Kenny (Brian Lawless/PA)

“The mass slaughter of the Palestinian people, while at the same time their governments and other governments across the world are literally turning their back on the people of Gaza.

“The people of the world will not turn their back on the people of Gaza.”

IPSC spokeswoman Betty Purcell said Israel “needs to change” as she called for people to join the protest march on Saturday.

The demonstration is scheduled to begin at 1pm at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance and participants will then march to Merrion Square.