President Higgins calls for ‘immediate end’ to violence in Israel and Gaza

President Higgins calls for ‘immediate end’ to violence in Israel and Gaza

THE President of Ireland has called for an “immediate end to the killing” in Israel and Gaza.

President Michael D Higgins has spoken out after days of attacks in Israel and Gaza after tensions erupted in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the weekend.

Hundreds have died since a surprise attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday, which prompted Israel to launch retaliatory strikes on Gaza.

“May I, as President of Ireland, lend my voice to those internationally that have called for an immediate end to the killing which has, since Saturday following Hamas’ attack on Israel and the response to it, included so many civilians, young people and children, as well as older members of families,” the President said.

“Any attacks on innocent civilians, such as those horrific scenes witnessed at the Supernova music festival and elsewhere, are deeply reprehensible.

“Further attacks, and reprisals of the same degree, will lead to further loss of innocent life.

“Such actions will not lead to such a constructive approach as might achieve the necessary conditions for the co-existence of all in conditions of peace, for which we must all aspire.”

Rescuers clear the rubble in the heavily bombarded Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip following overnight Israeli shelling, on October 10

Irish-Israeli woman Kim Damti is currently unaccounted for in Israel.

The 22-year-old was at a party in southern Israel when she was last seen on Saturday, as Hamas launched a wave of attacks.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has confirmed that Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and consular officials are aware of the case and are in contact with the woman’s family.

More than 1500 people have reportedly been killed in Israel and Gaza as the continuing conflict escalates.

“What the families of the civilians entrapped in these circumstances are going through must be of concern to us all,” President Higgins said.

“I join with the Irish Government in their concern for all of the civilians at risk in Israel and in Gaza and join in their call for a ceasing of the violence and the protection of the lives of innocent civilians.

“I send my deepest condolences to all of the families of the victims, and our thoughts at this time are, in particular, with the family of Kim Damti our fellow citizen,” he added.