Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has condemned Israeli violence against Palestinian protestors at the Al Aqsa mosque.
Palestinians had been protesting attempts by extreme right-wing settler groups to gain access to the site of the mosque to conduct religious rites, which is prohibited.
The Wicklow TD said:
“At what is an obviously sensitive time in Jerusalem, with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coinciding with the Jewish celebration of Passover, right wing Israeli nationalist groups, consisting primarily of settlers, have succeeded in inflaming tensions by gaining access to the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, as Israeli security forces provided protection.
“Predictably the response of the Israeli authorities has been to target Palestinian protestors.
“Over 150 protestors were injured when riot police stormed the mosque. A similar situation last year led to an Israeli bombardment of Gaza that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians. Already we have witnessed Israeli air attacks on Gaza yesterday.
“The international community must act to ensure that we do not witness a repeat of the slaughter that ensued a year ago.
“In the last four weeks, 40 people have been killed. I believe Ireland has a responsibility to call out Israel at the UN for its actions in Jerusalem which are inflaming the situation.
“Ultimately, the only way in which there can be peace and justice for the Palestinian people is through an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and an end to Israel’s policies of discrimination, which amount to apartheid.”