DONEGAL TD Padraig MacLochlainn has called on the Government to make an official protest to Israel over the deaths of 50 Palestinians in the conflict this year.
Speaking last night while questioning the Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on the issue of Palestine, the Sinn Féin foreign affairs spokesman said that in light of the Israeli attacks on Gaza last week, “Ireland must unequivocally condemn Israel’s outrageous and illegal activity which the world continues to ignore.”
He asked the Minister to visit the region immediately to observe the effects of the attack and of the on- going siege on the lives of civilians there.
Deputy MacLochlainn said: “I was scheduled to visit Gaza as part of an International Parliamentarian mission this month; however, it was cancelled as a result of safety conditions deteriorating and an escalation in attacks and bombings.
“This speaks for itself in how the situation in the region has deteriorated even further, a region which is being described as an ‘open- air prison’.
“I have appealed to the Tánaiste to give a commitment to visit Gaza as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs to witness the effects of Israel’s outrageous on-going illegal activity which the world continues to ignore.
“Activity including the on-going blockade, Israeli attacks and bombings on Gaza and the continuation of building of illegal Israeli settlements.
“More than 50 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in Gaza this year; more than 170 since Operation Cast Lead which ended in January 2008. Not to mention hundreds of Palestinians killed during that operation. These actions must be called what they are, reprehensible and illegal. This Government should take a stand and clearly condemn Israel for them.”