Show of Solidarity with Gaza

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Originally published in Gulf Daily News

HUNDREDS gathered outside the United Nations House in Manama yesterday in a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza, who have been under Israeli missile attack for more than a week.

The rally was called by the Palestine Support Society with the slogan “People of Bahrain for People of Gaza.”

More than 500 men, women and children, including Bahrainis and other nationalities, held up banners calling for UN action, after at least 240 Palestinians were killed – mostly civilians – since July 8.

More than 1,000 Palestinians have been injured and thousands displaced as a result of hostilities between Hamas and Israel, the worst in two years.

Israel claims more than 1,300 rockets were launched into the Jewish state – killing one civilian.

Among those at yesterday’s rally in Manama were MPs and activists including Palestine Support Society vice-president Hisham Sater.

“Our message to the UN includes three points,” he told the GDN.

“No to genocide and calling on all international bodies and the world to break their silence; the situation in Gaza is a crime against humanity; and finally, the Palestinian issue is ever the top priority for the GCC.”

He said an official submission would be made to a UN representative in Bahrain on Sunday.

“The UN has its mechanisms it should be using to protect the people of Gaza from such atrocities,” added Mr Sater.

“Bahrain is against aggression and we are strongly speaking out against this brutality.

“We urge the world to stop taking part in such cruelty by being silent.”

Mr Sater revealed five similar solidarity gatherings would take place at mosques across the country today.

They will be held after morning prayers at Zamil Mosque in Hidd, Al Islah Mosque in Muharraq, Abubaker Mosque in Manama, Al Nusf Mosque in Riffa and Hamad Kanoo Mosque in Hamad Town.

Al Fateh Youth Coalition spokesman Yacoub Al Slaise said the gatherings showed Bahraini solidarity with Palestine.

“Our brothers in Palestine teach us strength and faith in the face of occupation and oppression during this holy month,” he said.

“Our message to Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council is that we dismiss your statements that make the oppressors and oppressed equal.

“Our question to you, Secretary-General, are four children playing by the seaside a terrorist threat?

“Are families sleeping in their bed preparing for a day of fasting a terrorist threat? We are here to tell you there are not.”

He was referring to a tragic Israeli strike on a beach in Gaza that killed four innocent children who were playing there on Wednesday.

“If the Israelis do not comply with international human rights accords, then severe sanctions should be enforced,” he said.

Al Menbar Islamic Society member Dr Khalid Al Qattan said the protest was against the “bloodshed of innocents”.

“We are here today, not because we are Muslims or Arabs, but because we are human,” he said.

Parliamentarians who joined the protest complained that thousands of innocent Palestinians were being denied justice.

“Justice is absent in Palestine and we are here to tell the US and Western countries, as well as the UN, that this silence is inhuman,” said MP Abdulhameed Al Mir. The sentiments were echoed by MP Mohammed Al Ammadi.

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