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Gary Gannon TD

Social Democrats Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Gary Gannon has today (Monday, October 9) written to the Ceann Comhairle and the Oireachtas Business Committee requesting time be set aside in the Dáil this week to discuss the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza.

Deputy Gannon said:

“The Government must facilitate statements in the Dáil this week on the deteriorating situation in Israel and Gaza. The violence that has erupted over the weekend is shocking, frightening and hugely concerning.

“The indiscriminate murder of Israeli civilians by Hamas fighters must be condemned unequivocally. The massacre of more than 260 young people at a music festival, and the shooting dead of families in their homes, is sickening and barbaric.

“More than 700 people are now confirmed dead, thousands have been injured and scores more have been kidnapped. There can be no justification for the deliberate and merciless targeting of civilians.

“The answer to barbarity by Hamas is not further human rights abuses and breaches of international law by Israel. Missile strikes on densely populated areas, that civilians are unable to flee, is a breach of international law.

“The announcement that Israel is going to begin a complete blockade of Gaza – with no electricity, no food and no fuel allowed to enter the strip – is inhumane and unacceptable. Collective punishment of more than two million people – 50 per cent of whom are children – is a war crime and cannot not be tolerated.

“Hundreds of civilians – including scores of children – have already been killed by Israeli strikes. I am now deeply concerned that a complete blockade, and ground offensive in Gaza, will result in the loss of thousands of innocent Palestinian lives.

“Violence begets more violence. This destructive and inhumane cycle must end. There must be an immediate ceasefire and de-escalation of violence. Negotiations must take place so that peace talks can start and hostages can be released.

“The only way to end this conflict is through dialogue. The international community must provide leadership and facilitate a pathway to talks and peace. The Irish Government, as a neutral arbiter, can play a powerful role in facilitating those talks.”

October 9, 2023

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