Dublin City Councillors highlight humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Call for Irish government to influence immediate aid and ceasefire

by Rose Barrett
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A number of Dublin City Councillors across the political spectrum have come together to speak with one voice regarding the human catastrophe impacting the people of Gaza.  

Cllrs Daithí Doolan SF), Deirdre Heney (FF), Michael Pidgeon (GP), Dermot Lacey (Lab and  Cllr Patricia Roe (SD). Together the five councillors called on the Irish government to use its influence and standing within the United National and the EU to demand an immediate ceasefire.

Following the atrocious attack on Israel last week, the Israeli government retaliated with air strikes against Palestine, with the death toll now reaching almost 6,000  (1,400 killed in Hamas attack), many more injured and still so many missing, believed dead. 

A man walk nears rubble made by an Israeli bomb that destroyed a medical clinic and other civilian structures serving a community of poor fishermen near Khan Yunis, Gaza.

On Wednesday last a hospital in Gaza was bombed, further escalating the crisis now for the homeless and suffering people living and trapped in the Gaza strip. Both sides are claiming the other is responsible for the devastating attack.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar condemned the bombing earlier this week, and stated an independent investigation was required to establish blame for the mindless atrocity.

Leaders across the world, among them US president Joe Biden, denounced the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent explosions on Palestinian people on Tuesday who are not to blame for the Hamas attack. Speaking in the Dáil, the Taoiseach said he totally condemned the attack on the hospital in Gaza and said it was despicable and totally violated the rules of war, went against basic humanity. It may yet, he felt, be deemed “a war crime” and while he also denounced the attack by Hamas, there was no doubting the human suffering of the people in Gaza. 

“The Palestinian civilians here are the innocent victims.”Speaking about the ongoing crisis, Cllr Daithí Doolan (SF) said:  “We are urging the Irish Government to use its place in the UN and EU to demand an immediate ceasefire, to lift the siege of Gaza and allow international aid to be allowed in to Gaza.”
The full statement read: “We, the undersigned unequivocally condemn all attacks on civilians in Israel and Palestine; We unreservedly condemn the brutal attacks since Saturday, October 7 last, leading to 5,185 deaths. We deplore e that the deliberate taking of hostages, including children and the elderly, it is unconscionable and we call for their immediate and unconditional release.”

Palestinians fill bottles of water for home consumption from a public fountain, at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip

The elected representatives further acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself from attack, but their response “must be in line with international law.”
The submission also denounced any parties in the conflict “targeting medical facilities, schools or cutting off fuel, we oppose the denial of international aid to Gaza as constituting a breach of international law;  acknowledge the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live in their respective countries with dignity, peace and freedom and call on the Irish Government to use their position in the EU and in the UN to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire as a basis to a long term ceasefire.”
International aid to be allowed into Gaza, said the five strong contingency, with the “immediate lifting of the blockade of Gaza and a UN sponsored peace process leading to a just resolution based on international law.”
They echoed the call of the UN Secretary General for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of all civilians in Gaza, who are suffering the appalling consequences of this outbreak of violence, with d “unimpeded humanitarian access to meet the urgent needs of all civilians in Gaza, through humanitarian corridors or any other means necessary.”
“We remind that abiding by international humanitarian law is  not optional,” said Cllr Doolan “Rather, it is an obligation that is binding on all parties in the conflict.” 

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