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Gaza is a humanitarian disaster area – Gerry Adams TD

1 August, 2014 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for the 72 hour humanitarian ceasefire that was called last night to be respected.

The Sinn Féin leader has expressed his deep concern at Israeli bomb attacks in the Rafah area this morning and urged all combatant forces to “fully observe the ceasefire and provide an opportunity for a more durable political agreement to emerge out of the talks due to commence in two days’ time.”

Mr. Adams has also described as ‘shameful’ Irish foreign policy on this issue describing its decision to abstain in the recent UCHRC vote “as a dangerous erosion of the independence of the Irish state's foreign policy”.

Mr. Adams said:

“The death toll in Gaza is now almost one and a half thousand, most of whom are civilians. Much of the Gaza strip has been reduced to rubble and almost half of this besieged region is now under the control of the Israeli military.

“I want to support the Palestinian call for Gaza to be declared an international disaster area and to appeal to the Irish government and the EU to support this humanitarian call.

“I am deeply disappointed with the Irish government’s response to the worsening crisis in Gaza. Their policy, as outlined by the Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan in his address to the Seanad on Thursday, represents a dangerous erosion of the independence of the Irish state's foreign policy.

“The government’s shameful decision to support the EU position of abstaining on the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, which called for an International Commission of Investigation, is clear evidence that Irish government foreign policy is to be dictated from Brussels rather than Dublin.

“This stance adopted has done untold damage to the state's proud record of a progressive, independent policy on international affairs and its history of standing up for the colonised and the oppressed.

“The Taoiseach's continued refusal to recall the Dáil to discuss events in the Middle East makes no sense in light of Thursday’s reconvening of the Seanad. Thus far both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, 14 independent deputies, one Fine Gael TD and one Labour TD and six Seanadóirí have endorsed my request for a recall of the Dáil. The logic of such a move is now compelling.

“A Dáil debate would allow TDs to express their view on the unfolding horror in Gaza and to unite behind the United Nations demand for a negotiated end to the conflict and for urgently needed humanitarian aid to reach the people of that region.

"The Taoiseach should recall the Dáil.”

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