Port workers in the Italian city of Livorno refused to load an arms shipment destined for Israel on Sunday in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
“The port of Livorno will not be an accomplice in the massacre of the Palestinian people,” said L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB).
After discovering that a weapons and explosives shipment from the Tuscan city was destined for the Israeli port of Ashdod, port workers sought to block it.
According to the USB – a port workers’ union – the ship contained “weapons and explosives that will serve to kill the Palestinian population, already hit by a severe attack this very night, which caused hundreds of civilian victims, including many children”.
Workers were reportedly tipped off by The Weapon Watch, a Genoa-based NGO monitoring arms shipments from Mediterranean ports.
The organisation urged the Italian government to consider “suspending some or all Italian military exports to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict areas”.
Although the shipment eventually left Livorno, bound for Naples, the action taken by the port workers could spark calls for increased coordination and further attempts to block arms shipments.
Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes have unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City as the country’s prime minister suggested the war against Hamas would continue.
Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes early on Monday in an attack that was heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed.
Our fighter jets are currently striking terror targets in Gaza.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 16, 2021
That was the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.
In a televised address, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s attacks were continuing at “full-force” and would “take time”.
Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defence minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.
Hamas also pressed on, launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel.
One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said, with no injuries reported.
The hostilities have repeatedly escalated over the past week, marking the worst fighting in the territory that is home to two million Palestinians since Israel and Hamas’s devastating 2014 war.
Neither the White House nor the State Department would say if any had been seen. “It’s a perfectly legitimate target,” Netanyahu told CBS’s Face the Nation.
Asked if he had provided any evidence of Hamas’s presence in the building in a call on Saturday with US President Joe Biden, the Israeli prime minister said: “We pass it through our intelligence people.”
Buzbee called for any such evidence to be laid out. “We are in a conflict situation,” she said. “We do not take sides in that conflict. We heard Israelis say they have evidence; we don’t know what that evidence is.”
Meanwhile, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders asked the International Criminal Court on Sunday to investigate Israel’s bombing of the AP building and others housing media organisations as a possible war crime.