Sinn Féin wants Dáil recall to discuss Gaza

Sinn Féin has written to the Taoiseach asking for him to recall the Dáíl from its nine-week summer break to discuss the crisis in Gaza.

Party president Gerry Adams says a full Dáil sitting is needed to explain why Ireland abstained in a vote at the UN Human Rights Council calling for an inquiry into alleged Israeli war crimes.

Labour's Joe Costello also hit out at Ireland's decision to abstain from the vote.

Deputy Costello - who lost his job as Minster for Trade and Development in the recent reshuffle - says Ireland has a strong track record on international relations and conflict resolution.

He said that Ireland was "sucked in" by what he called "an anodyne EU position".

Sinn Féin says it is seeking support from all parties in the Dáil to hold the emergency sitting as soon as possible.

"Irish citizens have been appalled at the Israeli Government's military onslaught against the civilian population of Gaza," said party president Gerry Adams.

"Incredibly the Irish Government refused to reflect that widespread concern when it abstained in Wednesday's crucial vote at UN Human Rights Council.

"It explicitly urged 'all parties concerned to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law'.

"Most Irish citizens cannot understand why their Government did not back this reasonable and balanced resolution.

"It was a considerable honour when, two years ago, Ireland won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time.

"However, not only did the Irish Government fail to use its vote positively in the cause of justice and human rights on Wednesday, it did not even speak during the debate at the Human Rights Council.

"I believe the Dáil must be reconvened at the earliest opportunity to discuss this very serious situation and I wrote to An Taoiseach yesterday to this effect.

"Thus far, I have received no response.

"Today, Sinn Féin will be contacting TDs from all parties with a view to enlisting as widespread a consensus as possible for a recall of the Dáil to discuss the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and what the response of the Irish State should be."

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