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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams to visit Israel & Palestine this week

5 April, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams today outlined details of his visit this week to Israel and Palestine where he will meet senior members of the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Adams said:

“ It’s two and a half years since my last visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territory on the West Bank. Since then the situation has seriously deteriorated, most clearly in the recent assault on Gaza by Israeli forces which left over 1400 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians and Gaza reduced to rubble. 13 Israelis have also been killed.

“During that visit I met with Palestinian and Israeli NGOs. I also met representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) including representatives from Fatah, the Third Way, Abu Ali Mustafa, the Alternative bloc and Hamas.

“Next week I will again visit Israel and Ramallah. But this time I will also travel into Gaza and Sderot and Ramallah where I will meet with senior members of the Palestinian Authority. My purpose in travelling to the region again is to meet as wide a range of Israeli and Palestinian opinion as practicable.

“The Israeli government has again refused to meet with me, because I will not give a commitment not to speak with Hamas representatives. This is very regrettable. I will meet with all sides and urge all sides to end all armed actions and to engage in meaningful dialogue.

“I believe there should be a complete cessation of all hostilities and freedom of movement for everyone.

“The big challenge is to bring about a settlement on the basis of a two state solution. This requires a sustainable and durable state for the Palestinian people. Finding solutions will require leadership on both sides, and a willingness to take risks, initiatives, and compromise.”

“And it will need the international community, and particularly the USA, to play a very positive and active role. In this respect I welcome the appointment of George Mitchell as US Envoy to the Middle East.” ENDS

Notes to Editors/Newsdesks: Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams blog can be found on Léargas is the Gaelic/Irish word for Insight.

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