The National Executive Council of SIPTU unreservedly condemns the latest Israeli aggression in Gaza which has resulted in the deaths of more than 800 people, the overwhelmingly majority of which are civilian non combatants many of them children, as well as the maiming of thousands of others. We repudiate the analysis which apportions parity of blame for the slaughter.  This is a cop out.  It is farcical to apportion parity in circumstances where one side, equipped with the fourth most powerful military machine on the planet, which continues to occupy the territory of the other, in flagrant violation of international law, deploys it against a defenceless people trapped in what is effectively the largest open air prison in the world. We reject the assertion that seeks to justify the slaughter of innocent civilians on the pretext of ending the launching of missiles into Israeli territory.  Israel has a much more effective avenue open to it to end this threat.  It can declare a truce, withdraw its forces behind the 1967 borders, end the policy of settlement in Palestinian territory and negotiate an agreement providing for a lasting peace in accordance with UN resolutions. We call on the Irish Government to exercise its influence and to use its vote at all times, in all international fora to maximise pressure on Israel, which is the aggressor in the conflict, to persuade it to comply with UN resolutions and international law generally and in particular to end the slaughter of the innocents in Gaza which is a heinous crime against humanity. Moreover we call on the Government to immediately ban all trade with illegal Israeli settlements and to campaign relentlessly within the EU Institutions for the suspension of any trade agreements with Israel until such time as it places itself in compliance with UN resolutions and international law. Meanwhile we call on all members to boycott Israeli goods and otherwise display their solidarity with the beleaguered people of Palestine and in particular those enduring the misery of the onslaught in Gaza by participating in the various protests, demonstrations and other civic actions taking place around the Country, until Israel withdraws from Gaza and ends its persecution of the Palestinian people.