The 70th anniversary of the events of 1948, which is also the anniversary of Israel’s independence, serves to remind us all that the objective of two sovereign states, Israeli and Palestinian, living side by side in peace and prosperity, has yet to be realised. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the hardship it has caused, has gone on for far too long.
This has been underlined by events in Gaza yesterday and over the course of recent weeks. I summoned the Ambassador of Israel in Ireland to Iveagh House this morning to express my shock and dismay at what unfolded yesterday and at the numbers killed or injured, which includes many women and children. I also made a direct request for an independent, international investigation of these events, led by the UN.
In my engagement with the parties in the region, and at EU and UN level, I have stressed my conviction that the conflict is not insoluble, and the urgency of working to reach solutions before the situation deteriorates further.
The question of sanctions on the Israeli Embassy has been raised with me on many occasions by the Deputy and others. I have made it clear that I do not consider such an approach to be appropriate. I will continue however to speak forthrightly about events in the region with all appropriate