Fianna Fail Leader Micheál Martin has criticised Israel’s actions following the detention of a number of people on board a ship bound for Gaza on a humanitarian mission.

Deputy Martin said: “I salute the people who undertook this humanitarian mission to Gaza and their efforts to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people living there.

“When I was Minister for Foreign Affairs I visited Gaza and witnessed first hand the extraordinary conditions people are having to endure. It is a totally unacceptable situation that must be resolved.

“Israel’s actions in boarding the vessel and detaining citizens are totally unacceptable. A former Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews is among those detained. Peaceful political protest is entirely legitimate and must be respected.

“I am calling for the immediate release all of those detained and a swift and safe journey back home.  I want to commend the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs in this regard.”