Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., on recent violence in the Middle East, .22 October 2002.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D., expressed profound shock at yesterday's suicide bombing on a bus in northern Israel, which left fourteen dead and many injured. The Minister conveyed his “sympathy to the families” of those killed and his hope for a speedy recovery to those injured.
“ These attacks are intended to derail hopes of peace and the possibility of progress in negotiations. They are carried out against the express wishes of the elected Palestinian leadership. The suicide bombers must not be allowed to succeed. I call on the Israeli Government to exercise restraint in its response to this attack. I also call on the Palestinian leadership to take whatever steps remain within their power to thwart future attacks of this kind. Coming so soon after the deaths of seven Palestinians at Rafah on 17 October, this incident makes it more than ever vital that the parties realise that there is no military solution to this conflict and that the desire of Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful and secure existence can only be achieved through negotiations.”