11 Jul 2014

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has urged the Irish Government to take immediate action to help end the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza, take action to “stop Israeli war crimes” and help broker an immediate ceasefire agreement, at EU level.

In a letter to the newly-appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD, Congress General Secretary David Begg, condemned the Israeli action which, to date, has killed 98 Palestinians and wounded almost 700. More than 70% of the victims are civilians, according to the United Nations.

“This is the third occasion in five years that the Israeli government has demonstrated to the world that it believes it can act with impunity when it comes to the killing of Palestinian civilians. You will also be aware that Israel has mobilised 40,000 reserves with a view to a ground incursion into Gaza - ostensibly to target rocket launchers.

“The collective punishment of a civilian population and the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against the people of Gaza by the Government of Israel is a profound breach of international humanitarian law,” Mr Begg said.

He urged Minister Flanagan, to take a number of steps, including to summon Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland and “demand an immediate cessation of Israeli bombing and shelling of Gaza.”

Congress also urged the Minister or official representatives to make every effort to visit Gaza in the coming days.