Statement by Minister Cowen on attacks in Gaza
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D., today expressed shock at the Israeli attack on Palestinian homes in Gaza which left at least fourteen people dead, including six children. A senior leader of the military wing of Hamas, Salah Shehada, was the target of the attack and has been reported as being among the dead.
The Minister said “ Ireland fully accepts the right of Israel to defend itself and to take necessary measures against those who plan or execute terrorist attacks. However, the use of air launched missiles in densely populated areas can only result in civilian casualties on the scale we have seen today. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous. This kind of attack is not a reasoned or proportionate response to the threat of terrorism.”
The Minister continued, “the Palestinian and Israeli people are both suffering terribly from the present cycle of retaliatory violence. Leadership is required on all sides to break this vicious circle. I appeal for no retaliation to this or any further acts of violence. No more innocent lives should be sacrificed in a war that neither side can win.”
He concluded, “it is abundantly clear that there is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that it can only be resolved through dialogue and renewed negotiation, with appropriate international support. I once again call on the Government of Israel and the Palestinian leadership to take the steps which are necessary to resume meaningful contacts and progress towards a just and comprehensive settlement.”Top