Opposition briefings on position of Irish citizens in Middle East necessary

Ivana Bacik TD
07 November 2023
  • Open lines of communication vital
  • Welcome commitment from the Taoiseach to speak with the Tánaiste on facilitating Labour’s calls

In the Dáil Chamber today, Labour Leader Ivana Bacik TD called for the introduction of opposition briefings from the Department of Foreign Affairs in relation to the worsening conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Deputy Bacik said:

“I welcome the Taoiseach’s commitment to make representations to the Tánaiste with a view to facilitating Labour’s calls for regular briefings from his officials on Ireland’s response to the conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

“Unfortunately, today marks the depressing one-month anniversary of both the brutal attacks by Hamas on civilians in Israel, as well as the disproportionate response of the Netanyahu government in carrying out a brutal bombardment of Gaza.

“On October 18, the Dáil voted by an overwhelming majority to support a motion seeking an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, akin to the calls of the UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres. This cross-party motion, which we in Labour strongly supported and worked to achieve, also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken by Hamas.

“The strength of that national response to-date has been the cohesion between parties in the Oireachtas. Vital to retaining that unity of spirit is sharing of information outside of the parameters of Dáil and Seanad debates.

“In addition to Ireland’s general diplomatic approach to the conflict, briefings are made all the more urgent due to the unfortunate reality that so many Irish citizens – and relatives of Irish residents – are stuck in the crosshairs of this awful conflict.

“The only way to achieve any resolution, for communities in both Israel and Gaza, is for immediate de-escalation, through regional and international diplomacy. In line with UN Security Council Resolutions, lasting peace can only be based on an enduring commitment to the two-state solution that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty. While welcoming the Taoiseach’s positive engagement today, I urge the Tánaiste to act on our calls without delay.”

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