Gaza family ask Queen to remove blood diamondTagged as: anti-militarism blooddaimonds gaza solidarity warcrimes
Neighbourhoods: buckingham palace
The Sammoni family in Gaza have issued an appeal to the Queen to remove the Steinmetz Forevermark Jubilee Diamond which De Beers put on display in the Tower of London to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
Twenty nine members of the Sammoni family were killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza (Operation Cast Lead) in December 2008 – January 2009. Twenty one members of the family were killed in a single incident when the house they were ordered to shelter in by the Israeli military was later targeted with missiles by the Givati Brigade. The Steinmetz diamond company has “adopted” a Unit of the Givati Brigade which it funded and supported during the attack on Gaza.
In an appeal, posted to YouTube today, Helmi Sammoni, speaking on behalf of the family said: “On behalf of the surviving members of the Sammoni family and the hundreds of other families in Gaza who have been killed by war crimes committed by the Givati Brigade of the Israeli Army, we are shocked and disappointed by the decision of De Beers to present the Queen of England with a diamond manufactured by the Steinmetz Diamond company – a company which supported the Givati Brigade during the Israeli war on Gaza late 2008 as they murdered 29 members of our family in cold blood. We the Sammoni family call on the Queen of England and the British people to decline this gift. We demand that De Beers be instructed to remove this offensive blood diamond display immediately.” (Translated from Arabic)
A UN Human Rights Council investigation concluded that the Israeli military committed serious war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Gaza. The Steinmetz company, through the Steinmetz Foundation boasts about funding and supporting a Unit of the Givati Brigade during Operation Cast Lead.
Diamonds that generate revenue used to fund a regime guilty of war crimes are de-facto blood diamonds. If the Jubilee Diamond was crafted by a company that funded the Zimbabwean military there would be public outcry and demands for its removal.
By displaying a Steinmetz blood diamond, De Beers have demonstrated thier arrogance and hubris. They clearly believe that they can dictate, to the Queen and to the public, that diamonds which fund Israeli war criminals should not be considered blood diamonds.
A joint Press Releas was issued earlier today by Boycott Israel Network, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Global Palestine Solidarity
The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses.
UN Human Rights Council Report of the Fact-Finding Mission of the Gaza Conflict (p159 – p166)
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