Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brendan Smith TD has reacted with great shock and sadness to the news that four people were killed in a synagogue by two armed men in Jerusalem yesterday. Deputy Smith condemned the attack which is yet another horrific onslaught on innocent people who have suffered greatly since the war between Hamas and Israel last summer. Deputy Smith has called on Palestinian leaders, including Hamas, to condemn the attack and for the Israeli leadership to resist fanning more flames of violence by reacting in an aggressive and violent manner.
Deputy Smith stated: “What was witnessed this morning in Jerusalem was nothing short of horrendous. The murder of any innocent people is shocking but the murder of people in their place of prayer is quite simply disgusting. I am calling on the leaders within the Palestinian community to condemn in the strongest possible terms these attacks which benefit no one and will only serve to dramatically undermine the prospects of peace in the Middle East. Hamas must withdraw its praise of these attacks and condemn what has happened this morning if it is to have any credibility with the international community. Any violence where innocent civilians are targeted, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian, is absolutely abhorrent and must not be supported by any political leaders in the Middle East.
“I am also calling on the Israeli Government to show restraint in their reaction to this attack. I understand how difficult this is in the circumstances but a further escalation of violence is not the answer to the pain that the Israeli people must be suffering today. Retaliation will only lead to further retaliation and create a spiral of violence which will unravel any prospects of a consolidated peace. Both sides must recommit to the terms of the ceasefire agreed between Palestinians and Israelis over the summer. Peace must hold. I believe that the European Union must become a stronger broker in trying to secure that peace before further violence may well turn into a full scale war. Federica Mogherini, the new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy must seek a meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities immediately and ensure that we do not find ourselves facing further escalating conflict in the Middle East.”