Marchers chanted slogans, including: “Stop killing children“, “Stop shelling hospitals” and “Boycott Israeli goods” while some carried placards with: “end the illegal blockade”. Others highlighted the large number of children killed in the attacks.
The latest crisis in the conflict has so far claimed the lives of more than 1,060 Palestinians, most of them civilians, while 45 Israelis have died, 43 of them soldiers.
In Dublin, around 3,000 people marched from the Spire to the Israeli embassy.
Similar demonstrations were held in towns and cities across Ireland including Cork, Belfast, Derry, Limerick and Waterford.
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign spokesperson Freda Hughes said Ireland’s decision to abstain on a UN vote to investigate allegations of war crimes against Israel was “shameful”.
“People across the globe are disgusted and appalled by what they are witnessing in Gaza. It is a war on the whole people of Gaza; men, women, children, hospitals, schools and neighbourhoods. Israel is carrying out illegal collective punishment and committing war crimes and it is doing so with impunity,” she said.
Yesterday, around 250 supporters of Israel gathered at the Israeli Embassy in Dublin to express solidarity with the people of Israel.
Gardaí said at least 300 people took part in Saturday’s march in Cork, with organisers estimating attendance in the region of 500.
The demonstration, organised by the Cork branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was led by a group of about 20 people carrying a giant Palestinian flag and followed a route from Daunt Square through Patrick Street.
Organisers distributed leaflets containing details of Israeli goods stocked in supermarkets in the city urging people not to buy them.
A symbolic ‘die-in’ was later held on Patrick Street, where participants lay down on the pavement as the names of 49 of the estimated 160 Palestinian children killed were read out. A spontaneous round of applause followed the roll call.
Addressing the crowd, Jim Bowen of the Cork IPSC condemned Ireland’s recent abstention on a vote in the UN Human Rights Council to hold an inquiry into alleged breaches of international law by Israel and violations of human rights in Gaza.
Carmel Hehir from Midleton said: “When you’re targeting children and civilians and hospitals and schools, that’s disgraceful. Come on wake up. If any other country that purported to be civilised was behaving like that you know there would be sanctions.
“I actually sent an email to [Minister for Foreign Affairs] Charlie Flanagan myself during the week [on Ireland’s abstention]. I’m waiting on a response.”
The EU (and by extension Ireland) said the wording in the vote did not contain specific reference to alleged Hamas crimes being included in the inquiry although it does “urge all parties concerned to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law”.
One of the organisers, Mike Rahr said the abstention was “a disgrace. Ireland has the opportunity to be a world leader in neutrality and fairness and it has completely corrupted that. It’s a missed opportunity”.
Referring to suggestions by a number of TDs that expulsion of the Israeli ambassador was “an option”, he said: “I think that would have a worldwide impact and would mark Ireland down as a country of fairness and justice.”
On the role of social media he said: “For the first time everybody is instantly connected to an incredible human story and I think there’s a revulsion which is being picked up by the mainstream media.
It’s reported many in the enclave took advantage of Saturday’s 12-hour ceasefire to retrieve bodies.