By Rabindra Rooplall
In condemnation of war crimes that are being carried out against the civilian population in Palestine by Israel, the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) and the Guyana Islamic Trust on behalf of the Muslim community of Guyana assembled for a peaceful protest yesterday outside the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown.
Waving of the Palestinian Flags and chanting “Free Palestine”, “Stop the Killing”, “Stop the US Aid to Israel now”, and “Freedom to Palestine”, and other chants, the protest comprising men, women and children, made its way onto Young Street, Kingston, passing by the Canadian and US Embassies, then to the Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.
The crowd then marched along Main Street up to Bank of Guyana and returned to the Umana Yana where they congregated and shared opinions. Also present were President of Guyana Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), Komal Chand and other workers.
According to the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) President, Fazeel Ferouz, speaking the truth is the greatest form of revolution and the news entities such as BBC, CNN and Fox News have not been reporting the situation as it really is, and there is need to expose the raw truth.
He explained that Palestine and its people have witnessed over 65 years of complete dispossession, 45 years of brutal occupation, 20 years of failed peace negotiations, and a seven-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip. Since 2000, an estimated 12,000 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israel and countless others injured and maimed.
“This is a siege, murder, genocide that has been taking place. We are all human beings and we all tend to get carried away, but defenseless people are being slaughtered with the assistance of the US Government and even to our dismay some Muslim governments.
“It will not end, there will be a ceasefire but it will start again.” The CIOG President added, “We need to educate, organize and agitate and this will be our motto. We have to educate ourselves about what is happening in Palestine and other countries facing terrible and abusive situations to human beings around the world.”
Representatives of the Guyana Islamic Trust called on the United Nations, the United States of America, the European Union and other world bodies to use all means at their disposal, diplomatic and otherwise, to immediately stop the massacre and bring an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
The world community must earnestly work for a just solution to the long outstanding problem of the Occupation of Palestine, the group said.
President of the Guyana Solidarity Movement with Cuba, Halim Khan, who also joined the protest, said, “We call for an enforcement of the BDS (boycott, divestment & sanction) campaign by the international community, for stronger coercive diplomacy, and stronger humanitarian intervention…
“We especially call upon the United States of America to take a stronger and fairer position in the conflict, since it perhaps has, due to its special relationship with the State of Israel, the greatest influence over the occupying State, and therefore has a greater power and ability to bring about a just resolution to the world’s longest conflict and occupation.”
He further explained that the situation is very shocking. Children have been bombed while playing in a football field on what was supposed to be the most festive day of their year, the day of Eid ul Fitr.
Khan said the stubbornness of the Israeli Government to heed the desperate call of the United Nations and to listen to the moral conscience of the peoples and governments of the world is totally unacceptable and immoral by any standards of civilized behaviour.
Sheik Masood said, “We hope that this gathering is perceived by the international community and responsible bodies as a cry for help on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters in humanity, and that it is registered in the record of time as a collective voice of condemnation of the killing of innocents, for in silence aggressors find great strength.”
Masood strongly condemns the indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza which has resulted in the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinians including women and children, and the injury and maiming of thousands more.
Additionally, he noted that the wanton destruction of lives only adds to the already unbearable strangulation of the residents of Gaza due to the apartheid and tyrannical policies imposed on them by the Israeli occupation forces.
Last April, the troubled peace talks hit another snag when Palestinian leadership and Hamas forged a new reconciliation agreement. The new unity deal angered the Israeli government. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted by saying that Palestinian President Abbas was choosing “Hamas, not peace.”
The U.S. Government warned that the new accord could prevent any progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Since 1997, Hamas has been a designated foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
On April 24, 2014, the day after the Palestinian leadership announced its new unity deal with Hamas, Israel responded by halting the peace talks. The deadline for this latest round of peace talks passed without an agreement.
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