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Netanyahu’s political motives cloud judgement on humanitarian tragedy in Gaza – MEP Kelly

Published: Fri, 26 January 2024

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Seán Kelly MEP has hit out at the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance on the conflict with Gaza, questioning his political motives and urging him to end the “humanitarian tragedy” unfolding in Gaza.

“What is happening today in Gaza is a humanitarian tragedy. It is clear to see that a whole population is being punished for the brutal actions of Hamas – a terrorist group which I utterly denounce.

“It would appear that the Israeli Prime Minister has his sights set on destroying Gaza and his recent comments on the future are extremely concerning. The political reality is that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s popularity has plummeted amidst the fallout of the 7 October tragedy. Even a majority of Israelis believe Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making is driven by his own personal interest. This war is devastating with thousands of innocent lives every day and it is clear the majority of the world want to see a peaceful end to the conflict as soon as possible.

“Netanyahu still has not defined a political outcome for Gaza and has even gone so far as to reject the two-state solution. This is completely unacceptable and Western governments need to be more vocal in recognising Palestinian human rights, otherwise we risk a broader conflict in the area. The two-state solution is the only viable avenue for peace and international pressure needs to be ramped up in support of it.

“I urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to face up to the human cost of the Israeli assault on Gaza and agree a ceasefire as soon as possible. Every hostage taken by Hamas must be released immediately and unconditionally. Those people need to be returned home safely. Hamas is guilty of extremely horrific acts of terrorism and must end their violent campaign and ultimately be dismantled. However, Hamas will not be eradicated by the current indiscriminate bombing. Peace and stability cannot be achieved only by military means, especially in this case.

“Proposals for peace are being discussed and I keenly await the details, but there must be a ceasefire as soon as possible as well as immediate access for humanitarian aid. Peace can only come about if both parties are open to some sort of compromise and I sincerely hope this is the case as what is currently unfolding cannot continue.

“I and my Fine Gael colleagues have repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza. The loss of innocent lives associated with the on-going conflict is truly heart-breaking and needs to stop immediately. We voted for every version of a ceasefire in the most recent European Parliament Resolution, recognising the importance of the Parliament having a united position in calling for a ceasefire across the political spectrum. I fully support the Irish government’s diplomatic engagement and promotion of an end to the violence in Gaza and I will continue to do as much as I can to help in this endeavour.”

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