Tánaiste 'deeply shocked' following Israeli bombing of refugee camp in Gaza

Tánaiste 'deeply shocked' following Israeli bombing of refugee camp in Gaza

TÉNAISTE Micheál Martin has said he is 'deeply shocked' at the bombing of Gaza's largest refugee camp as he reiterated calls for a ceasefire.

Palestinian officials say around 50 people died in the Israeli air strike on the Jabalya camp on Tuesday, according to Reuters, which adds that the area was rocked by a second blast today.

The IDF has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's airstrike, saying it resulted in the death of a Hamas commander behind the October 7 attacks on Israel.

'This has to stop'

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Martin said that while Israel has a right to defend itself, 'civilians must be protected'.

"I am deeply shocked by the high number of casualties following the bombing by Israel yesterday of the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza," said the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

"Ireland has made clear on many occasions that Israel's right to defend itself must be within the parameters of International Humanitarian Law.

"This means that the principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality and precaution must be upheld in the conduct of hostilities and that civilians must be protected.

An image grab taken from AFPTV video footage shows Palestinians checking the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023 (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"UN Secretary General Guterres has been clear that international humanitarian law cannot be applied selectively. The law of war always applies.

"UNRWA said yesterday that more children have been killed in Gaza since 7 October than have been killed in all conflicts globally since 2019.

"We cannot allow this to continue. This has to stop.

"With the unfolding tragedy in Gaza, the European Union has been calling since last week for humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.

"We now urgently need a humanitarian ceasefire and a significant scaling up of humanitarian access to get vital supplies to civilians. We cannot wait any longer."

'Immense suffering'

On Tuesday, Mr Guterres said he was alarmed by the expansion of Israel's ground operations in Gaza as well as continued rockets fired at Israel from Gaza.

"International humanitarian law establishes clear rules that cannot be ignored," he said.

"It is not an a la carte menu and cannot be applied selectively.

"All parties must abide by it, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.

"With too many Israeli and Palestinian lives already lost, this escalation only increases the immense suffering of civilians."

Palestinians carry the body of a victim a day after an Israeli strike in the Jabalya camp for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023 (Image: BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images)

When quizzed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the strike on the Jabalya refugee camp, which has a population of more than 100,000, an IDF spokesperson claimed Hamas were hiding behind civilians.

Innocent deaths, he added, were 'the tragedy of war'.

Latest figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health say that more than 8,500 people have died in Israeli attacks on Gaza, including 3,542 children.

Around 1,400 people were killed in Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, with a reported 320 IDF soldiers killed since then.