As protests continue throughout the world in support of the people of Gaza, netizens in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago have also been showing their solidarity with Palestinians. Messages of support, disgust, shock and horror have popped up on Twitter from concerned Trinidad and Tobago nationals.
Among them, veteran journalist Ira Mathur noted that the collapse of the ceasefire on 1 August, 2014, seemed like an act of ‘ethnic cleansing':
Sounds like ethnic cleansing to me http://t.co/AR7WqEXfRV
— Ira Mathur (@irasroom) August 1, 2014
At least 1,865 Palestinians have been killed and more than 9,500 injured since Israel launched a massive assault against the 40-kilometer long coastal strip on July 8. Seventy-five percent of Palestinians killed in this offensive have been civilians.
Israel says it is targeting Hamas, a group that has ruled Gaza since 2007 under a seven-year blockade from Israel, for firing hundreds of rockets across the border into Israel. Since the offensive started, three civilians have been killed in rocket attacks on Israel and 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting in Gaza.
Wikileaks released documents on 2 August that suggest Israel is deliberately using “disproportionate force upon any village that fires upon Israel” in Gaza, and Israeli authorities “intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”
Many others have been posting similar sentiments. Writer Dylan Kerrigan posted about the perceived bias in media coverage in favour of the Israelis:
wow. MSM gone crazy about one captured Israeli soldier. The duplicity is mind blowing. Only Israeli lives matter to Western press #Gaza
— Dylan Kerrigan (@rumagin) August 1, 2014
Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire on 1 August so Gazans could bury their dead, take care of their injured, and restock food supplies. The ceasefire was violated after 90 minutes in the town Rafah where shelling killed dozens of Palestinians and injured hundreds more.
Israel and the U.S. blamed Hamas for breaking the ceasefire by capturing a soldier after the ceasefire, but 48 hours later said the soldier was never captured and was actually killed in combat. Hamas’ militant wing maintains they engaged with Israel soldiers in Rafah before, not after, the ceasefire.
Another poster pointed to the continuous killing of children in Gaza:
— cherisse moe (@cherissemoett) July 31, 2014
On 1 August, concerned citizens staged a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people:
Muslims and other concerned citizens to walk in solidarity around the QPS for the conflict in Gaza#freepalestine pic.twitter.com/OX2jU6qMbi
— Cherrylene Lewis (@cherrylenelewis) August 1, 2014
One local broadcaster, the Islamic Broadcast Network, hosted a ‘Telethon for Gaza’ on 27 July, to assist in the relief effort.
On Facebook, several local pages have been established in the past few weeks to highlight this issue. “Trinidad Muslims – Free GAZA” has been posting images of the casualties of the conflict, while United Voices For Humanity has been keeping netizens up-to-date on local solidarity efforts.