November 3, 2023
Irish government must use all diplomatic and political options to achieve ceasefire – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said today that “the Taoiseach’s comments this morning that Israel is not acting in self-defence are correct and a recognition of the serious deterioration of the situation in Gaza as Israel breaches International Law with devastating consequences. We need ceasefires, we need humanitarian aid and we need accountability for the breaching of International Law.”

Ms McDonald said:

“The violence and humanitarian crisis in Palestine deepens by the day. The Taoiseach has correctly stated that the Israeli destruction of Gaza is not self-defence. I share his view that Israeli actions are offensive and constitute collective punishment.

“They are engaged in a ferocious military offensive against a civilian population; breaking international law by targeting civilians, destroying civilian infrastructure, forcing mass population displacement and cutting off vital supplies of water, food, medicines and fuel.

“The sheer scale of this belligerence, collective punishment and the devastating loss of life is horrifying with more than 9,000 civilians killed and tens of thousands injured.

“This is happening before the eyes of the world, and it must be confronted. Unconditional ceasefires are urgently required.

“The Dáil became one of the first parliaments in the world to call for a ceasefire. It was an important international signal that has since been followed by an overwhelming vote at the UN General Council demanding such a ceasefire.

“Israel defies these calls for ceasefire. This cannot stand.

“The International Community and the Irish government must now take action to enforce international law. All available diplomatic, legislative and political options must be deployed by the Irish government to press the case for an end to all military actions and to achieve ceasefires, the immediate release of all hostages and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

“The Irish position of upholding international humanitarian law must guide the actions of our government. The Taoiseach has correctly set out the gravity of Israel’s actions.

“The position of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland is now untenable, the Ambassador should no longer enjoy diplomatic status in Ireland while Israel refuses the imperative for ceasefires and as the suffering and death toll grow.

“It is 25 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. In Ireland we know the cost of conflict, and the value of peace. We know that political dialogue between all sides with the support of partners in the region, and the international community is the only way forward.

“There is no military solution to the rapidly deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Palestine.

“Sinn Féin is committed to playing a constructive role with the Irish Government and international community to encourage and actively support dialogue between all sides, and to develop a durable, inclusive, and sustainable conflict resolution process. The lead should be taken by the United Nations and the Arab League in shaping these conditions.

“Ireland should play our role in the development of an international peace and conflict resolution initiative for Palestine. We believe this should be an issue of national consensus based on the implementation of International Law.”

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