Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has expressed his “serious and deep concern at the escalating violence by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) against the Palestinian people.”
The Sinn Féin leader was speaking in advance of a protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza that will be held outside Leinster House at 12.30pm tomorrow.
Mr. Adams said:
“In recent days almost 50 people, including eight children, have been killed in Israeli attacks and another 400 injured. The health system in Gaza, under-resourced as a result of Israel’s siege, is at breaking point.
"There have been almost 500 air strikes, as well as naval bombardment of Gaza. Palestinian homes have been demolished and hundreds have been arrested. As many as 200 of these are now held by Israel in administrative detention – essentially internment without trial.
"The firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, which have resulted in no deaths, should end. But these actions cannot excuse the application of overwhelming military force by the Israeli government.
"Israeli aggression is little more than an act of revenge and collective punishment of the Palestinian people for the murder of three young Israelis .
"The IDF attacks on Palestinian citizens, in conjunction with the state’s illegal settlement policy, and the obscene separation wall, is part of a long term colonisation strategy by Israel of the occupied territories.
"In the short term the international community needs to make every effort to secure a ceasefire by all of the combatant groups.
"There is a particular onus on the Israeli government to recognise the Palestinian unity government and agree to engage in a genuine process of dialogue.”
Note to Editor:
In March 2013 the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem published a report which
Was a scathing indictment of the Israeli government’s flouting of international law and it’s violation of the rights of Palestinian citizens living in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories.
The report found that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the west bank are ‘the biggest single threat to the two state solution.’
The EU report accused the Israeli government of implementing a settlement policy that is ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative.’
It concluded that Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of seeking to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem through restrictive zoning and planning, demolitions and evacuations, discriminatory access to religious sites, an inequitable education policy, difficult access to health care and inadequate provision of resources.