Galway West TD Derek Nolan has said that the Irish Government’s abstention on a UN vote to launch an enquiry into Israel’s attack on Gaza was “unacceptable”.
“Abstaining on a vote of such importance suggests that we, as a country, do not have an opinion on the situation in Gaza. That is simply unacceptable. The blatant abuse of human rights, perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, ought to be investigated,” said the Labour Deputy.
Deputy Nolan said that to condemn Israel was not to condone Hamas, and intermixing the two gave “a false impression”.
The Galway West Deputy said that Ireland could have proposed a separate motion concerning the actions of Hamas, but said that Israel continually tried to impose peace on its own terms and that this approach would “never work”.
“This is the third time in six years that we have seen serious and damaging conflict in this region. It is a dangerous and repetitive cycle that is dominated by one force. It is evident that Israel’s tactic is to maintain control over the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to continue to under-resource and undermine the people of Gaza through their blockade. This cannot be allowed to continue. Ireland, as part of the international community has an obligation to recognise to recognise the reality behind this illegal and one-sided war. We should have stood up and been counted at the UN.
“The blockade of Gaza is a denial of basic human rights. Every day Israel denies the Palestinian people the basic freedom of movement, they restrict imports of basic goods and supplies, prevent fishing and subject Gaza and Palestine to ill treatment, bullying and intimidation. As well as this, Israel is breaching international law by continuing to build illegal settlements and possess lands in the West Bank undermining any hope of a two state solution.
“The denial of these basic human rights is a permanent road block to peace. The only way to achieve sustainable peace and protect human rights is through meaningful discussion and dialogue. However, this dialogue must be balanced and equal, not dominated by one side’s terms. A cease-fire that does not involve resolution of key underlying issues will only serve to postpone further hostilities and loss of life to a later time.
“Ireland has consistently called for a meaningful cease-fire and has asked Israel to step back from this conflict. If Ireland is going to be ignored by Israeli representation in this country, diplomacy is obviously not having the desired effect. It is time for Ireland, with its own independent voice, to express its concerns on the international stage and decide what other actions it can take to indicate its abhorrence for the wanton killing and suffering of innocent Palestinian civilians.
800 people, mostly civilians, have now been killed in Gaza in this latest series of attacks.