A protester says she is tired of the lack of action and humanitarian support from Canada for Palestinians suffering in the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
Sara Kishawi, who is from the Gaza region, says the demonstration at the corner of Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo Thursday, was a call to action to the federal government to let people who are suffering and dying have access to needed services.
“People are either dying of bombs, starvation or a lack of water,” Kishawi says. “We need medical supplies because surgeries are being done without proper medical equipment and in the streets.”
Last week, the Canadian government pledged an additional $10 million in humanitarian aid for both Gaza and Israel that includes food, water, medical supplies, and protection services.
Kishawi says her family is still currently in Gaza and adds the conflict has been falsely labeled.
“This is a humanitarian issue, it is not a Palestinian issue,” she says. “The genocide needs to stop. Over 4,000 people have been killed including kids.
“Over 1,000 kids have lost their lives. They need to stop this and let humanitarian aid in.”
A deal has been brokered to allow some humanitarian aid into Gaza through Egypt beginning Friday.
According to the United Nations website, in the 1948 war Israel proclaimed its independence and occupied territories on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
Kishawi acknowledges there has been a long-standing conflict between the two countries but says the real conflict isn’t with a “resistance group” (Hamas), but rather with a country with a nuclear-ready government.
“Israel has been ethnically cleansing and torturing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” she says. “You can’t compare a resistance group to a military power with a nuclear arsenal and backed by the biggest country in the world.”
She says what is happening overseas is ethnic cleansing and those with any humanity need to see that.
Nanaimo’s mayor, MLA and MP have not yet commented on the demonstration.