Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has today called for an international inquiry into the abduction and killing of three Israeli settlers and into the collective punishment of the Palestinian people through Israeli military actions.
She made the call after speaking with the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland this week.
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms abduction and killing three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. But, while horrific, these events in no way justify the policy of the Israeli state to collectively punish the Palestinian people through brutal military action and other draconian measures.
"The Israeli policy of collective punishment is at the heart of the cycle of violence in the Middle East.
"It is carried out with such a ferocity and frequency that we are now almost surprised when a day goes by that we don't hear of a further violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. These collective violations come in the form of arrests, executions, indiscriminate airstrikes and other obscenities such as the blockade of Gaza.
"Six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire since the teenagers went missing. Surely, both of these realities highlight the pressing need for an inclusive peace process.
"The international community must now recognise that actions of collective punishment are not ad-hoc actions but rather the outworking of Israeli state policy. Such a policy warrants the establishment of an international inquiry.
"An inquiry into the abduction and killing of the three Israeli boys and the policy of Israeli collective punishment is an important part of building a process of peace and reconciliation.
"We want to see a peace process that will ensure that no more Israeli or Palestinian families have to suffer the loss of loved ones."