MINISTER JOE COSTELLO is to make a fact-finding visit to Gaza tomorrow, during what he described as a “time of increasing difficulty” for ordinary Palestinians.
While there, the Minister for Trade and Development will look at the situation on the ground and the humanitarian impact of the Israeli blockade on the people of Gaza.
The Minister said:
This is a time of cautious hope in the Middle East Peace Process, but it is also a time of increasing difficulty for many ordinary Palestinians, especially the people of Gaza. Tomorrow, I will meet Palestinian refugees in Gaza to hear their stories and hopes for the future.
Costello will meet with relief agencies who are working to provide emergency food supplies to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
He will also visit the Nuseirat Distribution Centre, to see the impact of Ireland’s support to UNRWA, and will visit the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
Today, the Minister held meetings in Ramallah with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Prisons Minister, Issa Qaraqe’, the chief Palestinian negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Maliki.