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Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin (file photo) Sasko Lazarov/
israel-hamas war

All Irish citizens in Gaza accounted for, as efforts continue to get them out, minister says

There are around 35 to 40 people with Irish citizenship or dual citizenship in Gaza, as well as their dependents.

ALL IRISH CITIZENS and people with dual Irish-Palestinian citizenship have been accounted for in Gaza, Minister Catherine Martin has said.

There are around 35 to 40 people with Irish citizenship or dual citizenship in Gaza, as well as their dependents.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1′s This Week programme today, Martin said it is her understanding that Irish embassies in the region have made contact with these people and accounted for their whereabouts, and that efforts are being made to get them out of Gaza where possible.

Martin’s comments come as 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were today finally allowed to enter Gaza via the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

“The key there in terms of Irish citizens coming out of Gaza was firstly that opening of the Rafah crossing, and that’s why we were pushing for the acceleration of that. So it’s a first step that those trucks have gotten through,” Martin stated. 

She said Irish embassies remain in contact with all Irish citizens, and people with dual citizenship, in the Gaza Strip. 

“I have been informed that our embassies have accounted for those with citizenship or co-citizenship, both registering with them and maintaining contact with them and being a liaison with the authorities in respect of endeavouring to get them out,” Martin said.

War crimes 

The minister added that while Israel has “a right under international law to defend itself”, cutting off food and water to civilians in Gaza cannot be labelled as self-defence.

“[It] cannot be called self-defence to cut off water and electricity to the whole civilian population. That is collective punishment”, Martin said, adding that “collective punishment is a flagrant breach of international law”.

“There are rules of war and I believe that they are not being adhered to at the moment,” the minister stated.

Slaughter of innocent people under any flag, under any name, for any cause, is wrong, and can never be justified.

She called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, as well as saying Hamas must release all its hostages.

Speaking on the same programme, People Before Profit–Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said the Israeli ambassador should be expelled from Ireland.

“I think Ireland needs to explicitly say that what is happening in terms of Israel, indeed, are war crimes. But also we should be expelling the Israeli ambassador and sending a signal that certainly we do not go along with this,” Murphy said.

A large Palestinian solidarity march is happening in Dublin this afternoon.

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