Statement by Minister Cowen on the major escalation of violence in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank
“I deplore the major escalation in violence and loss of life in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank over recent days.
Ireland and our European Union partners have repeatedly called on all sides to exercise utmost restraint and to curb the escalation in violence. The commitments given by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to secure a cessation of the violence and to implement the recommendations of the Mitchell Commission must be observed. We have called for an end to provocation and confrontation. Terrorism must be fought with unfailing determination. Extrajudicial killings are contrary to international law.
I am, therefore, deeply disturbed by the circumstances of yesterday's attack by the Israeli security forces in Nablus, in which eight Palestinians, including two children, were killed, as well as the other incidents of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories in recent days. There is no solution in an unending cycle of attack and retaliation. Violence cannot nurture peace.
Negotiations towards a comprehensive peace settlement offer the only hope of a way out of the current spiral of violence and the dreadful prospect of a wider conflict in the region. I believe that a third party monitoring mechanism is needed, and, at this critical time, would serve the interests of both parties. The Government reiterates its total support for the implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Commission.”
Note for editors: The Minister for Foreign Affairs is due to visit the Middle East on 9-14 September, in advance of Ireland's Chairmanship of the Security Council in October. Top