Thousands of people gathered in Dublin to show their solidarity with Palestinians over the ongoing conflict with Israel.
arge crowds assembled around the Spire on O’Connell Street yesterday afternoon, calling for an end to violence against the people of the Gaza Strip.
The protesters marched through the city to the Israeli embassy in Ballsbridge, chanting “Free Palestine” and carrying banners calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for “a stop to the genocide”.
Palestinian, Algerian and Pakistani flags were waved alongside tricolours.
Similar demonstrations took place in Belfast, Cork and Galway, but on a smaller scale.
In the capital, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who attended the rally, called for an end to the Israeli “apartheid state”.
“Why does the world continue to treat Israel as a normal state?” he asked the crowd.
“It is precisely because we oppose racism that we must oppose the Israeli state. We must demand the dismantling of the Israeli state.
“In its very essence it is about racism. It’s about giving preferential treatment to one group at the expense of the other.
“In no other place in the world would this be tolerated. When we say ‘one state, one Palestine’, it is about ending the horror of racism and apartheid, saying a Jew, an Arab and a Christian and people of no religion all have equal rights in the land of Palestine.”
Former RTE broadcaster Mike Murphy, who attended the protest, said he was delighted with the turnout in support of Palestinians.
“I visited Israel and Palestine two years ago, so I saw at first hand how the Palestinian people were being treated,” he said. “I came back and was simply appalled by the whole thing.
“I went on the airwaves and spoke about my disgust about what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinian people. One of the problems is you become accused of being anti-Semitic, which is a smokescreen to hide behind.
“I’m not anti-Semitic at all, but I deeply resent what the Israelis are doing.”
He said he was “deeply disappointed” by President Joe Biden and his administration for not taking a stance against the violence, and praised the Irish Government for speaking out about the violence.
“We’ve had our own history of oppression and we should be raising a furore over what is happening and standing by the Palestinian people,” he added.
An Israeli air strike yesterday destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City that housed offices of the Associated Press and other media outlets.
The strike came nearly an hour after the military ordered people to evacuate the building, which also housed Al-Jazeera.