Richard Boyd Barrett TD: Irish Government must speak out loudly against Israeli aggression in Gaza

In a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit/ULA and chairperson of the Irish Anti-War Movement said that the Israeli-initiated violence on the Gaza Strip must be addressed in the strongest possible terms. The government should take steps to ensure that no Irish state-funded institution engages in any trade with the state of Israel and cease all grants to Israel made under the EU’s framework programme for research until it complies fully with international law.

The current cycle of violence has left scores of Palestinians dead and injured in an operation with Israel has chillingly called ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’. It all began when a 12 year old boy playing football was killed by Israel on November 8th which resulted in an exchange of fire by the two sides. On November 12th Palestinian militant groups agreed to a truce and all attacks were stopped. On November 14th Israel broke the cease fire and continues to bombard Gaza as we speak.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “In the last 24 hours Medical Aid for Palestine has supplied 1,450 blood bags to replenish the stocks of blood at Gaza’s main hospitals, but the hospitals there can’t cope. So far 16 people are dead, including 5 children. The attack on the Strip is reminiscent of start of the 2008 war on Gaza which left 1400 dead, including 300 children.”

“Ireland will have a seat on the UN Human Rights Council beginning in January 2013 which it should use to protect the human rights of the people of Palestine.”

“I call on the Tanaiste to condemn the current attacks on Gaza in the strongest possible terms and to take concrete steps via his opposite number in Israel to stop this bloodshed immediately.”