International community must hold Israel accountable – Hazzard
South Down MP Chris Hazzard has called for the international community to develop a new, collective initiative to bring an end to the war against the Palestinian people.
Speaking at a rally in solidarity with the Palestinian people at Downing Street, Mr Hazzard said:
"The failure of the international community to take a stand against the multiple injustices being inflicted on the Palestinian people by Israel is shameful and outrageous.
"The international community must unite in holding Israel accountable for its actions.
"The authority of United Nations resolutions must be upheld.
"The Israeli state cannot have it both ways.
"If it wants to be treated as a member of the international community then it must comply with the standards of behaviour which the rest of the world demands.
"Ultimately that must mean an end to its denial of a homeland for the Palestinian people.
"For our part, Sinn Féin has called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ireland in response to the most recent Israeli aggression at the Gaza border.
"Sinn Féin has repeatedly called on the international community to stand in defence of the Palestine people.
"We have succeeded in having a motion passed through the Irish Parliament calling on the Irish government to officially recognise the Palestinian state.”
Addressing the issue of negotiations and need for a durable peace process, Mr Hazzard said:
"Properly constituted, inclusive negotiations, good faith, and confidence building measures are the foundations of the road map to deliver peace and democracy in Palestine.
"At this time the Israeli government has no interest in a negotiating a just and democratic settlement.
"It will not be committed to that objective until sufficient political and diplomatic pressure changes the balance of forces and brings it into proper negotiations.
"But Israeli society is not a monolith.
"Those of us who believe in freedom and justice have a responsibility to help build political momentum and alliances, and to apply the required pressure upon the Israeli government and those who have influence with the Israelis.”