Ireland ‘Must Consider Expulsion of Israeli Diplomats’ Following Gaza Massacre  

16 May 2018

Palestine Demonstration

The Executive Council of Congress has sought an urgent meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD over the government’s “inadequate response” to the recent massacre of civilian protestors in Gaza and said Ireland must consider expelling Israeli diplomats and withdrawing Irish diplomats from Israel.

At the May 16 meeting, members of the Congress Executive Council meeting observed a minute’s silence for those killed and injured in Gaza and agreed to seek a meeting with Minister Coveney on the matter.   In a letter to Minister Coveney, Congress General Secretary Patricia King said: “We note your reported dismay and shock at the ongoing deaths of Palestinians in Gaza due to Israel’s use of live ammunition in response to demonstrations and your grave concern that the use of force seems disproportionate to the reported threat.   

“We share your view that an independent investigation is urgently needed, as called for by the UN Secretary-General.    “Given the severity of the situation however, we feel the response is inadequate and our Executive Council requested me to seek a meeting with you to discuss what further actions Ireland could take at this time, including the consideration of expulsion of Israeli diplomats and withdrawal of Irish diplomats from Israel,” the letter to Minister Coveney said.  

“Events this week are a shameless violation of international law and the Israeli authorities show no signs that they intend to rein in such excessive force. The Irish Government must not only strongly condemn these actions but must also be to the fore internationally, at the UN calling for an independent investigation into these incidents and to hold the Israeli Government to account in the EU by calling an emergency meeting for European ministers to consider a proportionate response, including through the imposition of trade sanctions.   “Ireland needs to lead the way in its own right also by supporting the urgent passing of Senator Frances Black’s Occupied Territories Bill and by formally recognising the decision of the Dáil and finally recognise the state of Palestine,” Ms King said.