May 7, 2024
International community must deploy ever mechanism to prevent Rafah slaughter – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has condemned Israel’s attacks and intended invasion of Rafah in Gaza. 

He called upon the Irish government and the international community to deploy ‘every diplomatic, economic and political measure at our disposal to force Israel to end its assault of the 1.4 million people seeking shelter there’.

With the majority of residents of Gaza having fled to Rafah in response to Israeli attacks on civilian areas elsewhere in the strip, Israel has now ordered a partial evacuation of Rafah and begun airstrikes on the city ahead of an expected major ground invasion.

Teachta Carthy said:

“Israel’s genocidal onslaught against the civilian population of Gaza had already by the end of last month killed 34,488 Palestinians, including 14,500 children.

“International institutions, particularly the European Union, have failed to adequately respond to the humanitarian catastrophe or to hold Israel to account. In some instances, world leaders have provided political cover for the genocide unfolding.

“We know what awaits those 1.4 million people should Israel invade Rafah – the deliberate targeting of journalists and humanitarian workers, and the annihilation of what housing stock, healthcare facilities, cultural centres and educational institutions remain.

“We will witness mass civilian casualties, half of which we can expect to be children.

“If International Law and the UN Charter are to retain any meaning, then there can be no more equivocation or half-hearted measures or statements – Israel must be condemned, meaningfully sanctioned and held to account.

“The vast majority of humanity are demanding a ceasefire now – world leaders must catch up with where their citizens have been for nearly 7 months now.

“The Irish government for their part must utilise every tool at their disposal to pressure Israel to call off their intended slaughter, to hold Israel to account and to demand their compliance with international law, including by:

  • Immediately recognising the State of Palestine
  • Enacting the Illegal Israeli settlements divestment bill and the Occupied Territories Bill.
  • Joining the ICJ Genocide case against Israel; and
  • Increasing funding to UNRWA

“Furthermore, it is no longer tenable for the European Union to continue blocking a review into Israel’s compliance with its human rights obligations under the EU Israel Association Agreement. The EU has failed to take any meaningful action against Israel, in fact European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has provided cover for Israeli war crimes.

“Recent events have shown that Israel is not interested in a peace settlement. That is because the international community has failed to force them to do so. That must change now before we see a further slaughter of innocent Palestinians.”

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