Seanad reconvenes to discuss Gaza

The Seanad will meet this afternoon to discuss the crisis in Gaza.

Senators have been recalled from their summer recess to debate the crisis, and Ireland's response to it.

They will also discuss the situation in Ukraine.

It is the second year in a row that the Seanad's been recalled from its summer break to discuss a major issue of the day.

Last year, Senators returned to consider overturning Ireland's laws on organ donation.

The law did not change, but supporters say it led to 20 new organ donation staff being recruited.

It is doubtful that today's sitting could result in any material developments - there are no motions up for debate, and no votes will take place.

But the sitting will mean that Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan will be forced to explain why Ireland decided to abstain on a motion criticising Israel's alleged war crimes at the UN last week.

It will also give an opportunity to see just how many of the 60 Senators are prepared to interrupt their summer holidays for the debate - it is expected that at least 10 will not attend.

Doctors and paramedics in Dublin will form part of the 'die-in' demonstration to protest against the continuing violence this evening.

Medics, dressed in scrubs, will gather outside the Department of Foreign Affairs from 6pm this evening.

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