Peace in Palestine must be a priority for Irish government
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has urged the new Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern to "use his influence to assist in the search for peace in the Middle East".
Mr Adams was speaking after a week of violence in which 65 Palestinians were killed. The latest raids into Gaza are the largest in four years of fighting.
Speaking today, Mr Adams said:
"The tragic events of the last week once again highlight the need for the international community to do all in its power to help bring about a peaceful solution to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. The latest incursions into Palestinian territory by Israeli forces are to be condemned.
"Sinn Féin is unequivocal. The suicide attacks, the killing of civilians, the invasion by Israel of Palestinian territory and the deliberate targeting for assassination of Palestinian leaders must end.
"I am calling upon the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern to use his influence, and that of the government to assist in the search for peace in the Middle East. Minister Ahern should make the resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict a foreign policy priority during his term in office.
"I am also calling upon the EU to support the suspension of preferential trade with Israel until the occupation of Palestinian territory ceases.
"It is imperative that Israel engages in genuine negotiation and dialogue with the Palestinian people and there is a clear role for the international community to help in such a process. Sinn Féin calls upon the international community under the direction of the United Nations, to begin an initiative to end this latest outbreak of fighting." ENDS