INTO statement on Palestine – critical action vital to prevent famine

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) strongly condemns the ongoing military actions taking place in Gaza. The harrowing death toll, mass displacement of innocent civilians and the imminent famine facing the Palestinian people should shock the world into action. As calls for a ceasefire finally begin to grow louder, we reiterate our call for an immediate and full ceasefire to enable the flow of international humanitarian aid to the area.

As an education union, we are acutely aware that the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the West Bank is having a catastrophic impact on the education sector.

Our union stands united with fellow trade unions in condemning the massive loss of life in the Middle East. We condemn the killing and maiming of children, teachers and civilians in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel together with the wanton destruction of homes and 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.

The relentless bombardments launched by Israel across Gaza have been both 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 condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas against Israeli civilians and continue to express our abhorrence of the ongoing military assault against the civilian population in Gaza and the intimidation of Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

The children of Gaza, many of whom have been orphaned, are at immediate risk of severe acute malnutrition. Critical action is needed as starvation and disease are rampant among 2.4 million people, with only a trickle of supplies reaching Gaza.

The INTO is working with European trade unions to call on the EU and European countries to sanction Israel and to suspend and review all current bilateral treaties considering the grave violations of human rights that continue to be uncovered every day.

We encourage our membership to join in the national protest this Saturday in Dublin, to add the important voice of educators to calls for action and solidarity. Further details on the protest are available here.

Please note, union members are encouraged to congregate outside Mandate Offices on Parnell Square East at 1pm.