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Adams hosts ICTU report on Israel and Palestine

10 February, 2009


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP MLA this morning hosted the launch of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions 'Israel Palestine' report.

The Sinn Féin leader commended the ICTU for visiting the region and producing its report.

Mr. Adams called for a "real and sustained international effort to construct a durable peace settlement which provides for two states, including a Palestinian state that is sustainable and viable."

Speaking to over 60 guests Mr. Adams welcomed Patricia McKeown, President of the ICTU and Regional Secretary of Unison; Eamon McMahon and Joe Bowers from Trade Union Friends of Palestine; and Brian Campfield, Deputy General secretary of NIPSA, who were all part of the delegation which travelled to the region in November 2007.

Mr. Adams said:

"Visits by delegations, like the one organised by the ICTU and the report they have produced, is part of the process of bringing an end to conflict in that region.

The ICTU report gives a valuable insight into the conflict in the Middle East and the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian people.

Since the visit by the ICTU delegation Gaza has been the target of an all out military assault by Israeli forces. Over 1300 people were killed, many of them children.

Huge damage has been done to the infrastructure and since the assault ended many more bodies have been uncovered.

That this has gone on as long as it has is an indictment of the international community. It has failed to provide the leadership necessary to bring an end to this crisis decades ago.

Unless the international community and that includes the Irish Government, the British government, the EU and the US Government exercises its considerable influence and authority any relaxation of the current assault on Gaza will only bring a short respite for citizens there.

What is needed is a real and sustained international effort to construct a durable peace settlement which provides for two states, including a Palestinian state that is sustainable and viable.

Finding solutions will require leadership on both sides, a willingness to take risks, take initiatives, and compromise.

It will need the Israeli's and Palestinians working together and defending the rights and freedoms of the other.

If the conflict here taught us anything that is that no conflict is intractable. There are solutions." CRÍOCH

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