Minister says Ireland has responsibility to ensure aid reaches Gaza

Minister Says Ireland Has Responsibility To Ensure Aid Reaches Gaza
Minister of State Peter Burke has said that Ireland will have to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to Gaza and the West Bank to keep key services going. Photo: Getty Images
Share this article

Vivienne Clarke

Minister of State Peter Burke has said that Ireland will have to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to Gaza and the West Bank to keep key services going.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Burke added that as far as he was concerned, from the Irish perspective, the €700 million humanitarian aid that goes to the Palestinian Authority from the EU will go ahead.


All EU decisions in relation to humanitarian aid are taken at a council level under qualified majority voting, he explained. That process was key in ensuring that humanitarian aid gets into Gaza and the West Bank to keep all the public services going, schools, safe water, hospitals.

Irish aid

The funding will not go to Hamas, he said. It was very clear that the €16 million that the Irish Government contributes will go through UN agencies and NGOs that work in the region and do not have any link to Hamas.

In response to a call from Independent TD Cathal Berry on Monday for the Government to suspend financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, Mr Burke said “absolutely not” as it was very clear who would be the victim if that were to happen.

“We have to be very understanding here. And this aid goes directly on the ground to people who are very vulnerable, who are under very difficult circumstances, and it provides their basic human rights, and we as a country have stand out in our history in doing that in very, very difficult regions, operating on the ground and that will absolutely continue.”


Mr Burke said he had been assured by organisations working on the ground in the region with the UN that the funding was getting through to the people who needed it. Ireland needed to ensure that people get that support because 80 per cent of Palestinian citizens relied on this type of funding.

The case of the missing Israeli-Irish woman Kim Damti was very distressing, he said. “And anyone who has their family or loved ones caught up in this awful atrocity, it's a terrible space to be in. So the Irish Government, obviously, through our consular services and the Department of Foreign Affairs, are working very closely on the ground now with the Israeli authorities as well. And we are providing consular assistance as we speak to the family in question.

“But I just can't go into the details of the case as we've had a number of citizens contact our consular services as well, it's important for citizens in the region to register with our consular services. That's very important so we can assist them and give them the best and up to date advice as it breaks on the ground.”

When asked if the Government had any lines of communications with Hamas, he said: “No, it absolutely does not. Hamas is a terrorist organisation.” He did not think that any government could have connections with them or work or give funding to them. “It’s the people that need to get the funding.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by