Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brendan Smith TD, has condemned the latest settlement plans by Israel to claim almost 1,000 acres near Bethlehem in the West Bank.
Deputy Smith believes the latest move will serve to undermine the recently declared fragile peace between Israel and Palestine.
“The latest actions by the Israeli Government threaten the peace which was recently agreed between Israel and Hamas and will only further escalate already heightened tensions in the region. Not only is this move ill-advised in the circumstances, it is also contrary to international law. These actions will further undermine the possibility of a two state solution in the Middle East.
“These actions are totally unacceptable. It is time for the EU to send a clear message to Israel that we will not tolerate further settlement advancement. The often promised labelling requirements both at EU and at national level for products from Israeli settlement areas and other sanctions against these goods must be implemented across the Union now.”
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith TD has condemned yesterday’s attack in Gaza which resulted in the loss of the lives of eight children and two adults in a playground. The UN’s children’s fund says there is no safe place in Gaza for children, as the death toll from the conflict continues to rise daily.
Deputy Smith commented, “The continued slaughter of children in Gaza is completely unacceptable and inhumane. Any loss of life is deplorable, but the killing of a child is particularly appalling. As the conflict between Gaza and Israel escalates, it is becoming more apparent that innocent civilians and children are accounting for a disproportionate number of the casualties and fatalities.
“The sustained rocket attacks on both sides of the border should be condemned at the highest level, however, the Government here has shown little leadership in this matter, choosing to abstain from a UN Human Rights Council resolution to set up a commission of inquiry into atrocities in Gaza as well as refusing a Dáil debate on the issue.
“There needs to be clear message from the international community that the level of violence being used by Israel against Gaza is disproportionate and should not be tolerated. We have always acknowledged Israel’s right to defend and protect itself, but the level of violence demonstrated in recent weeks, and particularly over the last few days has been excessive.
“I am backing calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, to limit the number of civilian deaths. It is imperative that the situation is not allowed to intensify. Too many innocent lives have already been destroyed in this conflict, and the increasing death toll is unacceptable. Concerted diplomatic efforts must be made to find a resolution to the current situation, and all available mediation and conciliation agencies should be used to bring about a peaceful end to the ongoing atrocities”.