Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

The Forest of Dean reflects on events in Gaza

In A.Graham on September 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

July – August, 2014:  Whilst Israeli forces set about the destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza, demonstrations and peace vigils have been held across Britain and the world. 

Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza continued to mount – over two thousand, most of them hapless civilians, and too many of them innocent children – before an uneasy ceasefire was declared. 

Schools have been bombed (with what seemed like pinpoint accuracy), Gaza’s one power station was put out of action – and even over-crowded hospitals were not immune from attack. 

We’re talking here about an area somewhat smaller than the Forest of Dean, but with a cramped population of 1.8 million.

Where, and how, it will end we can’t, at this stage, say.  At present the ceasefire is holding, but whether there are more horrors ahead for the people of Gaza we don’t at this stage know. But such a densely populated strip of land can only take so much punishment. 

DSC00980Photos on this page are from a peace vigil held in Coleford on July 30th. It was attended by local peace campaigners, together with many who were simply shocked and dismayed at what is happening to the people of Gaza. For them, there is no escape. Steve Parry Hearn also came along to add his support.

It’s worth adding that Mark Harper, our current MP, refrained from comment, until spurred into a response by letters from constituents. In one such communication he stated that “it is vital that all security operations (ie, the Israeli response) are conducted with due care and proportionate use of force….” but adds that “Israel has a right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks… International humanitarian law requires both sides to distinguish between military and civilian targets and enable unhindered humanitarian access”

In this, Israel has blatantly ignored such “international humanitarian law”.  By the way, it should be noted that Mark Harper is a member of Friends of Israel.

DSC00990Vigil organizer Roger Drury lights a candle for peace with Forest of Dean Labour Party 2015 parliamentary candidate Steve Parry-Hearn.

Photos by John French.

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