INTO joins global calls for ceasefire in Middle East

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) stands united with fellow trade unions in condemning the recent loss of life in the Middle East. We condemn the killing of children, teachers and civilians in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel together with the destruction of vital infrastructure including schools.

We remain committed to peace and are deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our members calling for an immediate end to the senseless violence in the region.

We reiterate our urgent plea for the international community to pursue an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, as set out in our recent letter to An Tánaiste Micheál Martin.

It is clear that the bombardments launched by Israel across Gaza have been inhumane and indiscriminate. As Ireland’s largest education union, we are calling for the immediate release of all hostages, subjected to unspeakable cruelty and forced apart from their families. We have and continue to condemn the attack by Hamas against Israeli civilians and continue to express our profound concern at the ongoing military assault against the civilian population in Gaza and the intimidation of Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

At a meeting of the Central Executive Committee today in Tullamore, a decision was taken to make a significant humanitarian donation to UNICEF who work directly with children on the ground in Palestine.

We wish to thank each and every member who has participated in public demonstrations calling for an end to violence in Israel and Palestine and we encourage members to attend demonstrations in Dublin and Belfast this weekend, details of which are listed below.

Dublin Demonstration 

  • Sat. 18 Nov. – Assembling at the Garden of Remembrance at 1pm and proceeding to Merrion Square.

Belfast Demonstration 

  • Sat. 18 Nov. –  Assembling at Writer’s Square at 1pm.

Members who are unable to travel to Dublin or Belfast tomorrow are encouraged to attend demonstrations in their own localities.

We remain committed to championing dialogue and democratic values in collaboration with the trade union movement and reemphasise our union’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions 

INTO General Secretary John Boyle and Deputy General Secretary Deirdre O’Connor attended this week’s meeting of the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, which has issued a statement on the ongoing conflict. The INTO endorses that statement and agrees that the six steps below identified by ICTU will be key to delivering peace in the region.

ICTU is calling for:

  • An immediate humanitarian ceasefire, guaranteed by the United Nations.
  • The delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid, including water, food, fuel and medicine to Gaza.
  • The provision of UN protection for the 2.3 million Palestinian civilians trapped under siege in Gaza.
  • The rejection of ethnic cleansing in any form.
  • The introduction of a comprehensive military embargo on Israel.
  • A full and swift investigation by the International Criminal Court into war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the crimes of genocide and apartheid.

The full ICTU statement is available here.

Education International 

As an affiliate member of Education International, the INTO also supports the recent statement by that organisation in respect of calls for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire.

A copy of that statement is available here.