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Modai made his intention to say on clear to deputies.
Modai made his intention to say on clear to deputies.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you." - Israeli ambassador tells David Norris he's going nowhere

Boaz Modai defended Israel’s actions to TDs today.
Sep 3rd 2014, 7:23 PM 27,099 167

THE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR told Senator David Norris today that he was “sorry to disappoint” him but he is remaining in Ireland.

Boaz Modai was speaking before the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade today and told the Senator that, “I am here and will be here for another year”.

Norris had been one of a number of Senators who called for Modai’s expulsion when the Senate was recalled in July to debate the conflict in Gaza.

The exchange happened when Norris said his reputation had been impinged by Modai’s claim that nobody had stood up to condemn Hamas bombings in Israel during previous Intifada. Norris said that he had indeed spoken out against such attacks, as he had spoken out against other attacks worldwide.

Modai said that, during Operation Protective Edge, Israel had taken more steps to minimise civilian causalities than any other military in history.

He referenced the fact that 10% of Gaza’s occupants are male and between 17-30 but that over a fifth of those killed during the recent conflict were in that group, something he said demonstrated that Israel were effective in targeting Hamas.

Norris disagreed with this assessment saying that there is no way to tell if the figure he quoted related to Hamas fighters. He also questioned Israel’s commitment to minimising civilian casualties in the context of Israel’s targeting of UN schools.

PastedImage-40040 Norris had called for the expulsion of the made he faced off with today.

Modai made reference to Irish people who voiced opposition to Israel during the conflict, saying that they are lending their support for Hamas who “don’t care for their own people”.

“Despite being a terrorist organisation, many people in Ireland feel that Hamas is fighting for the people of Gaza, if that was the case why does Hamas not allow people their freedom?,” Modai said.

Modai said that Israel had allowed 5,000 aid trucks into Gaza since 8 July, bringing medical and food aid, “all of this happened during a state of war”, he added.

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Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith also said that it “didn’t add up” that Israel sought to minimise civilian casualties due to the targeting of hospitals.

“In those cases (when hospitals were targeted) we made sure that when people were shooting from hospital or nearby that the people inside were warned,” Modai said.

He also said that, under the Geneva Convention, if a “school, hospital or a Mosque is used as a base for an attack then it is a legitimate target”.

Palestinian ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek  spoke before the committee earlier today and compared occupied Gaza to occupied Ireland.

Read: “We must take action”… Senators call for Ireland to strengthen stance on Gaza >

Read: Israeli Deputy Ambassador calls some Irish protesters an ‘ignorant, anti-Semitic mob’ >

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Rónán Duffy


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