Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has called for an immediate end to the Israeli assault on Gaza where Palestinians face a daily onslaught from Israeli warplanes, artillery and tanks.
Expressing his sympathy for victims of ongoing violence in the Middle East, the Wicklow TD said:
“In the last week, we have witnessed a progressively escalating onslaught against the Palestinian people by the security forces of the state of Israel.
“From being beaten and battered in East Jerusalem, to the butchery taking place in Gaza, the Israeli oppression has been relentless.
“We have all reacted with horror, and sorrow at the murder of innocent children, to the tales of terror from families huddled in fear waiting for their homes to collapse around them following Israeli missile attacks.
“How long must this be allowed to continue?
“How long must the international community be allowed to prevaricate?
“How long must Israel be allowed to act with impunity?
“We are watching crimes against humanity being enacted on our screens on a daily basis.
“There has been much ink spilled already in relation to the appearance of the Israeli Ambassador at the Foreign Affairs Committee this week.
“While the lies, the obfuscations, and the misdirection were all to be expected, what truly saddened me was the absolute and total lack of empathy and remorse for the suffering of Palestinian victims.
“It was quite appalling in its callous disregard. The crux of the violence that has taken place in East Jerusalem and Gaza, is the Israeli government policy of apartheid.
“There is a clear Israeli strategy premised on the removal, fragmentation and replacement of the Palestinian people.
“Israel is engaged in a constant campaign of annexation of Palestinian lands where evictions are accompanied by the razing of homes to the ground by Israeli bulldozers.
“Palestinians have been removed to scattered Bantustans settlements, to the smallest possible bit of land – reminiscent of the worst days of the racial segregation which united the international community against the government of South Africa.
“Since 1967 there have been 250 illegal Israeli settlements constructed on Palestinian lands, with over 650,000 illegal settlers.
“This is illegal. It constitutes a war crime. And nobody within the international community appears to care enough to put a stop to it.
“I am calling on the international community to label the Israeli policy and its outworking’s for what it is – illegal, apartheid and a war crime.
“Ireland has the opportunity and the means to show leadership on this issue.
“This is the moment for which the non-aligned nations of the earth voted for Ireland’s membership of the United Nations Security Council.
“Ireland must step up, it must show the way, and it must do everything that it possibly can to bring this violent campaign against the Palestinian people to an end.”