Israel must be held to account for horrendous war crimes
- Labour write to US Ambassador calling for immediate ceasefire
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions Labour Leader Ivana Bacik urged the Government to be a strong voice to hold Israel accountable for war crimes.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The response of Ireland and the international community matters. As the death toll rises, and we see mounting evidence of war crimes by Israel, Ireland must do all we can to hold Israel accountable and to bring about a ceasefire.
“I have already written to EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, seeking a stronger position from the EU on this. Today I have also written to US Ambassador Claire Cronin, calling on the Biden Administration to push for an immediate ceasefire and end to the bombardment of Gaza.
“Ireland and the Irish Government must be at the forefront of calls at EU and UN level, requiring Israel to respect international humanitarian law – we are at our strongest when we speak with a united voice.
“That is why we in Labour call on the Government to accept our amendments to its cross-party motion – to strengthen it.
“Those amendments we have proposed are:
- To unreservedly condemn collective punishment and the indiscriminate bombing of residential areas in Gaza by Israel;
- To call – not just for a humanitarian pause – but an immediate ceasefire, with coordinated international action to meet the humanitarian needs of Gazan civilians;
- To condemn the unqualified support for Israel, originally offered by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; and
- To call for the immediate recognition of the State of Palestine, as well as the passage of the Occupied Territories Bill and the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill.
“Following the outrageous attack by Hamas, many countries have been reluctant to remind Israel of its international law obligations. But it is at times when grief is so raw that adherence to the rules which ensure a humanitarian approach is so important. Calmness and compassion in the face of brutality is vital.”