Holly Cairns TD

The Irish Government must exert pressure on EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to intervene in the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns.

“Ms von der Leyen is today in Israel and has the ear of the Israeli government. She is now perfectly positioned to make a strong intervention for the immediate de-escalation of violence and a ceasefire.

“The Taoiseach must use whatever influence the Irish Government has to lobby Ms von der Leyen to make that intervention and convince Israel to come back from the brink.

“Israel must reverse its call on civilians to relocate to the south of Gaza within 24 hours in advance of an anticipated ground offensive – the alternative is too awful to contemplate.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that such a mass evacuation would be akin to a death sentence for vulnerable hospital patients.

“Israel’s threat to escalate its bombardment of Gaza creates the prospect of a humanitarian crisis that is unimaginable in its scale.

“The EU Commission President, while rightly condemning the barbarity perpetrated on innocent people by Hamas, must also name Israel’s war crimes for what they are.”

October 13, 2023

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