Buncrana man John Cutliffe says there is “no justification for collective punishment and murder of innocent people” in Gaza.
For two years, John, a founding member of popular music group ‘The Pyros’ and former tour manager of traditional band ‘Altan,” and his wife lived in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian side, which has been occupied by Israeli forces for many years.
They returned when they learned of the current Israeli offensive and have been helping out in Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, who are treating casualties coming in from Gaza.
As the death toll soared to over 1,300 yesterday, John urged the people of Inishowen and Ireland to “speak with their feet” in solidarity and support.
“Call, email or shout at your TD, MEP, local councillor,” he said.
“Email and call the Taoiseach and President. Tell them to speak out loudly now before any more children die.
If you need to send money, the International Red Cross of Save the Children are a good start.
“And, speak with your feet. Go out on every single demo you hear about. Tell politicians they will lose your vote.”
John said he believes the “majority” of people in Gaza have “no idea they are being heard.”
“How could they? We are letting them get murdered; we are allowing our kids to die,” he said.
John added that “our politicians” are “complicit” in the deaths of these children.
“But I tell the ones I meet every day of the great support there is,” he said.
John said he has been receiving ‘selfies’ with notes in support of the injured children.
John’s wife, an aid worker, is due to go to Gaza shortly.
As he does not have a permit to do so, he will stay behind to help locals and people brought into hospitals from Gaza.
John chronicled what he experienced in just one day - Wednesday - in one hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
He said: “I visited an 11-year-old boy in a coma, a two-year-old boy in a coma, a 14- year-old who is brain dead and will die, adults with such bad injuries the doctor had no idea what sort of quality of life they would have when they get out.
“There are more kids coming in every day and more deaths.”
Some of the children John has met include four-year-old Kazan, who was shot in the back, but is making a recovery.
There was also 15-year-old Karim, who had his foot blown off.
When by the ‘Journal’ asked John what he would say to those who believe Israel has justification for what they are doing in Gaza, he responded: “There is no justification for collective punishment and murder of innocent people.”