Northern Ireland news

Naomi Long brands SF member's Gaza Tweet a `shameful response'

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has branded a Gaza-related Tweet by Sinn Fein member Jim McVeigh a "shameful response". Picture by Mal McCann

Justice minister Naomi Long has branded a tweet from a Sinn Féin member in relation to the Gaza conflict, in which he said "let the rockets rain down" on Tel Aviv, a shameful reaction.

The Alliance leader's comment came after a tweet from Jim McVeigh, a former Sinn Féin leader on Belfast city councillor.

Dozens have been killed in Gaza which, in recent days, has seen the worst violence between Israel and Palestinian groups since 2014.

Since the conflict escalated over the final Ramadan weekend, hundreds of rockets have been fired and air-strikes have been carried out leaving dozens of civilians, including women and children, dead, with the majority of casualties in Gaza.

Mr McVeigh posted "They have lost so much, perhaps everything. The modern decadence of Tel Aviv is an insult to the orphans & the ruins of Gaza. Let the rockets rain down".

Ms Long responded that it was a "shameful response".

"Anger at what is happening in Gaza is absolutely justified but encouraging further indiscriminate violence that would lead to the deaths of other innocent people is never the answer. It wasn't here; it isn't there.

"Shameful response to this crisis from a prominent SF member".

When asked yesterday about his Tweet, Mr McVeigh said: "I think the Palestinian people have every right to defend themselves".

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