Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Micheál Martin, has criticized the Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, describing them as “disproportionate” and “not necessary”. Speaking at his party’s annual conference, Martin stated that the ongoing offensive in the region was unjustified and contravened the principles of international humanitarian law. He emphasized that too many innocent civilians, including children, were losing their lives in the conflict. Martin called for an immediate ceasefire and the entry of humanitarian aid, including vital medical supplies, into Gaza.
While Martin expressed concern over Israel’s actions, he stopped short of calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in Ireland. He deemed such a move as populist and emphasized the importance of maintaining diplomatic relations and open channels of communication with other states. Martin noted that the Irish government is working to evacuate Irish citizens from Gaza, and expelling the Israeli ambassador would jeopardize the safety and communication with Irish citizens in the region.
Martin also mentioned that the International Criminal Court would ultimately determine whether Israel’s actions could be considered war crimes. He acknowledged that opinions on sanctioning Israel varied across the European Union and that achieving unanimity would be extremely challenging.
The Republic of Ireland’s main opposition party, Sinn Féin, had previously labeled the Israeli ambassador’s position as untenable and called for the expulsion of the ambassador. However, Martin rejected this assertion, emphasizing the importance of diplomatic channels in conducting foreign policy.
Overall, Martin’s remarks reflected Ireland’s concern over the escalating violence in Gaza and its commitment to international humanitarian principles.