Republic of Ireland news

Dáil to vote on motion calling for expulsion of Israeli ambassador

A Palestinian man inspects the damage of a six-story building which was destroyed by an early morning Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, on May18 2021 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) 
Cate McCurry, PA

The Dáil is to vote on a motion later that calls for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and to impose sanctions against Israel.

The People Before Profit amendment to Sinn Féin’s motion will be debated this evening.

People Before Profit described it as a “historic moment” as it will be the first time the Dáil has voted on enforcing sanctions against Israel.

It comes after the government backed a motion condemning Israel’s de facto annexation of Palestinian land.

It is the first country in the EU to recognise Israel’s illegal settlements as a de facto annexation.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the motion was a “clear signal of the depth of feeling across Ireland”.

Mr Coveney said yesterday the government needed to be “honest about what is happening on the ground” adding that it is a “de facto annexation”.

He added it was not said lightly.

Israel has fired hundreds of air strikes against targets in Gaza, while Hamas has returned more than 4,000 rockets towards Israel, with more than 250 people killed in total.

A ceasefire on Friday ended 11 days of fighting in the Gaza Strip, considered the worst violence in the region since 2014.

Dublin TD Richard Boy Barrett, one of the proposers of the amendment, said: “It is now high time that the Dail and the Irish government move from words of sympathy and support for the people of Palestine to effective action.

“The chronic repression, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and apartheid system that has brutalised the Palestinian people has to be treated like the South African apartheid regime was treated.

“There must be zero tolerance for Israel’s ongoing and systematic violation of basic human rights for Palestinians, just as there was for Apartheid South Africa.

“There is a historic opportunity for us here in Ireland, who have previously experienced oppression from an occupying power, to lead the international community in taking effective action against the Israeli regime who are inflicting untold misery and brutality on the people of Palestine.”

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