Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has described attacks by over 400 illegal Israeli settlers on Palestinian homes and cars in Nablus as a pogrom.
Teachta Brady said the attacks constitute the worst outbreak of illegal settler violence in decades and has added to escalating tensions in the region.
Some thirty homes and cars were burned by illegal Israeli settlers, eleven Palestinians have already been killed this month by Israeli forces as they carry out increasing numbers of raids in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Wicklow TD said:
“It is clear that Israeli authorities did nothing to prevent this pogrom from occurring. A force of about 400 illegal Israeli settlers went about the business of destroying Palestinians homes and cars unhindered.
“For those of us in Ireland, the pictures and TV footage from Nablus are a painful reminder of pogroms carried out by loyalists in 1969, in which tens of thousands of nationalist families were forced to flee in the face of unhindered mob violence. There were designed to ethnically cleanse large parts of the north from catholic families.
“The reality is that Israel is an apartheid state. It is guilty of breaking international law. It is guilty of gross human rights transgressions against the Palestinian people.
“It is committed to a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes, of driving Palestinians into scattered Bantustans, to allow for the continued annexation of Palestinian lands.
“The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already stated this week that Israel will not halt the authorisation or construction of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“Israel has said that it intends to move forward with plans to build over 7,000 settler housing units, despite the government announcing a freeze this week, following an international outcry over illegal settlement expansions.
“Israel’s Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council approved last a plan Wednesday to build 3,612 housing units, 950 of which are expected to be approved.
“Plans for a further 3,411 units were approved on Thursday, meaning the total exceeds all those approved in 2022 and 2021.
“The Israeli government has not only created the conditions for illegal settler violence, National Security Minister Ben-Gvir, who himself lives in an illegal settlement has previously called for violence against Palestinians.
“The Israeli government will do nothing to prevent the persecution of Palestinians until the international community makes a determined effort to force the Israeli government to halt its illegal annexation, its provocative raids, and human rights abuses.
“I am disturbed and disappointed that the EU has taken the position that there is some form of equivalence to the current violence. The fact is that the EU has continually failed the Palestinian people.
“It offers nothing but platitudes in the face of gross human rights abuses by Israel. It appears content to offer mild rebuke to Israel’s ongoing campaign of illegal annexation in the West Bank.
“The Irish government has a responsibility to ensure that the voice of Palestinians is heard in Europe and the EU should be forced to address the flagrant abuses of the rights of the Palestinian people that occur on a daily basis.”