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Minister Gilmore condemns violence in Gaza and Israel

Human rights, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2014

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore, TD, made the following statement on the escalating violence in Gaza and Israel:

“I am gravely concerned at the escalating violence and civilian casualties which we are now witnessing on the ground in Gaza and Israel, following Israel’s launch of a major air offensive against Hamas targets in Gaza in response to continued large-scale firing of rockets by Hamas and other Islamic militants against Israel.

“I condemn unreservedly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel which pose such a grave threat to the population. I equally condemn the mounting civilian casualties, including reportedly women and children, resulting from Israeli air strikes against Gaza. Both the people of Gaza and of Israel have the right to live in peace and security and without the threat of indiscriminate violence being visited upon them.

“My Department is closely monitoring the situation and keeping in contact with our Missions in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. I would recommend that any Irish citizens currently in the region or travelling there should register with my Department on our website www.dfa.ie. Those considering travelling should check the travel advice on the website which is updated regularly. Irish citizens in Israel or the Occupied Territories should exercise extreme caution and closely monitor developments via local media outlets.

“It is absolutely vital that all efforts are now made to de-escalate the current situation and bring this current wave of violence and military action to an end. I appeal to all sides to exercise the utmost restraint, avoid all civilian casualties and negotiate the earliest possible ceasefire. I understand that some mediation efforts by the Egyptian government are already underway and very much welcome and encourage this.

“The last few weeks, following the recent horrendous murders of four young people, have been incredibly difficult for all concerned with promoting the cause of peace in the Middle East. Despite this, we must not be deflected from addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and re-doubling our efforts to revive substantive peace talks and promote that viable, two-State solution which represents the only sustainable basis for a just resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict."

 

ENDS

Press Office

9 July 2014