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Adams raises Gaza in Dáil

21 November, 2012 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today called on the Irish government to raise the issue of the on-going violence in the Middle East as an urgent matter and to use its influence to get an EU intervention at this week’s EU summit.

Speaking in the Dáil during statements on the EU Council Teachta Adams called on the international community to act in a decisive way now before the situation deteriorates further.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“A real peace process must be inclusive, based on dialogue and equality, and all sides must respect the right of citizens to elect or select their representatives.

“So Taoiseach I would ask that you ensure this issue is considered by EU leaders this weekend.

“The Government should also use its influence in the EU and its new membership of the UN Human Rights Council to raise the current hostilities, the denial of sovereign, as well as human rights, to the Palestinian people and the six year illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel.”

The full text of Mr. Adams remarks:

“Taoiseach I want to ask you to raise the issue of the on-going violence in the Middle East as an urgent issue and to use your good office to get an EU intervention.

“Over recent decades the international community has failed to demonstrate the necessary resolve to help end this conflict.

“By last night approximately 130 Palestinian and five Israeli citizens have been killed. Half of those killed in Gaza are women and children.

“The EU Council should not meet without you using Ireland’s special status to raise the urgent need for peace in the Middle East.

“I believe there needs to be an immediate end of armed actions by all of the combatant groups.

“The rocket attacks on Israel should stop and the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip should end immediately.

“But in the meantime there is an onus on the international community especially the EU, to act in a decisive way now before the situation deteriorates further.

“You can play a leadership role in this Taoiseach. It is also vital that we should not be distracted by unbalanced media reporting which presents this conflict as one between equals. It is not.

“The Gaza Strip is a third world region, poor, under economic siege for six years and with most of its citizens living in poverty and relying on international aid.

“The Palestinian people have been robbed of their land, imprisoned by separation walls and borders into ghettoes, and have little power or influence.

“A United Nations report, before this recent violence, stated that by 2020 there will be virtually no reliable access to safe drinking water and no reliable electricity for the people of the Gaza strip.

“Eighty per cent of the citizens of Gaza are dependent on international aid and over one million are refugees.

“Taoiseach, Israel by comparison is a first world, highly developed, rich and heavily armed super-state with nuclear weapons.

“Taoiseach, the international experience and one of the main lessons from the Irish peace process is clear.

“Refusing to engage in dialogue; demonising opponents; treating them as non-citizens; stripping them of their rights and entitlements, of their self-esteem and integrity as human beings; engaging in censorship and vilification, makes war inevitable and peace harder to achieve.

“A real peace process must be inclusive, based on dialogue and equality, and all sides must respect the right of citizens to elect or select their representatives.

“So Taoiseach I would ask that you ensure this issue is considered by EU leaders this weekend.

“The government should also use its influence in the EU and its new membership of the UN Human Rights Council to raise the current hostilities, the denial of sovereign, as well as human rights, to the Palestinian people and the six year illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel.”

ENDS

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