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31st Mar 2018

Gerry Adams calls for Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador

Michael Lanigan

An Tánaiste Simon Coveney has also spoke critically of Israel’s reaction to the protests.

Gerry Adams has called on the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador.

The former leader of Sinn Féin issued the request after 16 Palestinians were killed and over 1,400 were injured by Israeli security forces during a protest in Gaza on 30 March.

Calling the reaction to the protests “a deliberate act of aggression by the Israeli Army and a crime against humanity”, he went on to say:  “There can be no justification or excuse by Israel for the calculated slaughter by Israeli military snipers of unarmed Palestinian protestors on the Gaza border with Israel.”

“The international community has consistently failed to defend the rights of the Palestinian people,” he continued in a statement. “The ill-treatment of the Palestinian people by Israel is a dark stain on the reputation of the international community. This has to change.

“I am urging the EU and the UN to take a stand against Israeli violence. I would especially urge the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador as a first step in formally and officially recognising the state of Palestine. The time for excuses is long over.

“The Irish government has an opportunity to give leadership on this issue to the international community by taking decisive decisions that reflect the widespread abhorrence of Israeli actions by the Irish people and by acting in solidarity with the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression.”

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD has called for “restraint” on the part of the Israeli forces, while also expressing his own shock at the developments in Gaza, saying:

“My first thoughts are with the individuals killed or injured and their families. The situation clearly remains extremely dangerous and I call on all involved, especially the Israeli forces, to show the utmost restraint. I also support the call from the UN Secretary General for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents.

“These events highlight the urgent need for a credible, internationally-led peace process that can address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the pathway to two states, Israel and Palestine, living together in peace and security.

“Ireland and the EU are ready to play a role in developing that process, together with the US and others, and planning and investing for that brighter future.”

The violence first broke out as thousands of Gazans marched in protest near the Israeli border.

Demanding the right for Palestinian refugees to return, having fled or been expelled since the foundation of Israel, security forces responded by using firing live rounds and tear gas. It is estimated that approximately 758 people were injured by live fire, while rubber bullets and gas harmed the others.

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