A group of islanders came together yesterday, 15 th of May, joining in a worldwide event which commemorated #Hakba 73 – 73 years since Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes by Israeli forces.
The vigil in Orkney was held outside St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, and was attended by a diverse range of people who wished to express their solidarity with the People of Palestine.
More than 130,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territory (OPT) since 1947https://icahd.org/
Over this last week there has been an escalation of events and the world has witnessed dreadful scenes from Gaza of residential areas targeted by Israeli fire power. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on Saturday appealed for a de-escalation in tensions and urged all sides to respect international law.
“Over the past 10 days, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel has deteriorated at an alarming rate. The situation in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, triggered by threats of forced evictions of Palestinian families; the heavy presence of Israeli Security Forces and violence around the al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan; the severe escalation of attacks from and on Gaza; and the shocking race-based incitement in Israel have all led to vicious attacks and mounting casualties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel. ” Statement here
“I am particularly concerned at reports that Israeli police failed to intervene where Palestinian citizens of Israel were being violently attacked, and that social media is being used by ultra-right wing groups to rally people to bring ‘weapons, knives, clubs, knuckledusters’ to use against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
There are also reports of excessive and discriminatory use of force by police against Palestinian citizens of Israel, hundreds of whom have been detained in relation to incidents of violence.
“I remind the Government of Israel of its duty to protect all its residents and citizens without discrimination based on notions of ‘nationhood’, religious or ethnic origin, and to ensure equal treatment before the law,” Bachelet said.
“Political leaders must refrain from any action that will inflame tensions, but must take action to prevent and address incitement to hatred and violence and ensure all citizens of Israel are fully and equally protected, including by taking preventive action.”
Casualty figures issued by the UN late on Friday, indicated that according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 119 Palestinians had been killed and 869 injured. The death toll in Israel, has risen to nine, with hundreds injured, based on official data and media reports.
On Saturday, UNICEF Palestine reported on Twitter that eight children were killed overnight in Gaza, and that so far 40 children there, and two in Israel, have lost their lives.
You can watch a short film of the Orkney event here:
See also: Silent Vigil to be Held for #Gaza