Reaction to Gaza-Israel conflict shows 'blindness of the world towards Palestinian people'

Fatin, who is from Palestine, and Osi from Israel spoke to Lunchtime Live as Israel formally declared war on Hamas
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.08 9 Oct 2023

Share this article

Reaction to Gaza-Israel confli...

Reaction to Gaza-Israel conflict shows 'blindness of the world towards Palestinian people'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.08 9 Oct 2023

Share this article

One Palestinian woman has branded Ireland's response to the latest conflict between Gaza and Israel as 'blindness and deafness' towards the Palestinian people.

Fatin Al Tamimi, who is from Palestine and has lived in Ireland since 1988, was speaking as Israel formally declared war on Hamas after a weekend of violence that has seen at least 1,200 people killed so far.

Some 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel and 560 have died in Gaza, with hundreds of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas.


Irish-Israeli woman Kim Damti is also among the missing.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin has strongly condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel, adding that he is very concerned "about civilians both in Israel and in Gaza."

Ms Tamimi, who is vice-chairperson of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, told Lunchtime Live she found out about developments in a phone call from her sister.

"She called me at 6.30am to say, 'Look a war has started and I don't know if I can talk you again anymore'," she said.

"She's said she's not sure [if she could talk again] because of the war started and the fear of the war.

"Usually they don't have electricity in Gaza, so in situations like this it will be worse.

"I haven't been in touch with her since last night; I just ask her all the time to text me to say they are fine.

"It is worrying and it's horrible, it's unbelievable and unimaginable what's happening - it's a tragedy.

"What's more tragic is the whole double-standard, really, for the world's reaction, including Ireland.

"The blindness and deafness of the world towards the Palestinian people and their suffering."

'I'm not allowed to go home'

Ms Tamimi has said she cannot get home due to Israeli restrictions.

"I'm not allowed to go home, sadly, so I meet my family in Jordan," she said.

"Israel will not allow me to go home; Israel stripped my father [of] his Palestinian identity in the late '50s when he left to live abroad.

"He wasn't allowed to go back to Palestine, so the same here - we can't go.

"With my Irish nationality of course I can go, but they will not allow me to go and visit because of my work on the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions].

"As the chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the time, we were on the blacklist.

"So, that means I was blacklisted to go back and see my family back home."

'The wipe-out of Gaza'

Ms Tamimi said the conflict feels different this time.

"We have been through that again and again, but this time it looks different," she said.

"Everybody in Gaza - my aunties, my uncles, my sisters - say that it is different this time."

She said the declaration of war by Israel's government means "we can assume it's going to be worse".

"It might be, at the end, the wipe-out of Gaza.

"The world keeps acting this way, and blaming the Palestinians for the right to resist and supporting apartheid Israel for their war crimes against the Palestinians, how can you imagine the Palestinians would survive in Gaza?" she added.

'We don't know where they are'

Osi, who is from Israel and lives in Dublin with her husband and two children, told the show some of her family have been killed.

"We're talking with them every hour," she said.

"[One] of our family member unfortunately got murdered two days ago when it all started.

"There are other family members and friends that we don't even know where they are.

"They [could be] kidnapped or burned in their houses, so we cannot even know what's going on over there.

"My father, my brother, my brother-in-law are all deployed to the army.

"My husband is considering going back to Israel to be deployed as well.

"This is a really, really difficult time for us, especially when we're not there."

'A crazy situation'

Osi said she woke up on Saturday morning to lots of WhatsApp messages.

"Two hours after that my sister got a message that her brother-in-law got killed, I think it was early morning Saturday", she explained.

"She was on honeymoon, so she and her husband [are] on the way back home to be with the family.

"This is a crazy situation; the most upsetting thing also is feeling like we cannot be with them, we cannot help," she added.

Listen back here:

Main image: Fatin Al Tamimi takes part in a Boycott the Eurovision in Israel protest organised by Palestinian rights campaigners in Dublin on March 8th 2019. Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Share this article

Read more about

BDS Blindness Deafness Fatin Fatin Al Tamimi Gaza Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Israel Lunchtime Live Micheál Martin Palestinian Palestinian People

Most Popular