Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith TD has stated that the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict is a bolt and wake up call to the international community about the horrors and human rights abuses inflicted on ordinary innocent people during the conflict. The Report claims that war crimes may have been committed by both Israel and Palestine during the Gaza conflict.

Deputy Smith stated: “We all witnessed on our television screens the terrible atrocities committed during the Gaza conflict in summer 2014. We all remember the image of the young boys playing on the beach being gunned down by the Israeli Defence Forces. We all remember the images of Israeli citizens having to run to shelter from rocket attacks. Approximately 2,100 Palestinians were killed during the conflict while 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed. What is shocking about this report is not the total inhumanity witnessed during this war; it is that this inhumanity, this terror, was planned, it was executed and it appears to have had the full support of those in government.

“The frustration of those who conducted the Report is clear from its recommendations where it condemns the international community for failing to implement previous reports on the abuse of human rights in this area. I must put on record my deep unease at the refusal by Israel to cooperate with an Independent Commission of Inquiry mandated by the UN. This raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to international norms including human rights and humanitarian law. Questions must be asked in this instance. How horrific must Israel’s actions have been to refuse the Commission any assistance?

“I am calling on the Government, and in particular, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to demand that the international community implement the recommendations of this Report. I also believe the Minister should meet with the Israeli and Palestinian representatives to Ireland and outline our country’s position on this matter.”