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People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip. Alamy Stock Photo

TDs and ministers condemn 'barbaric' killing of seven aid workers in Israeli strike

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan called on the EU to issue sanctions against Israel, along with an end to the US supplying military aid.

IRISH POLITICIANS HAVE condemned an Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza. 

The World Central Kitchen vehicle was hit while it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, after the team had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian food aid.

The aid organisation claims it had coordinated their movements with the Israeli Defence Forces beforehand.

The seven killed are from Australia, Poland, United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted that his country’s armed forces “unintentionally” killed the seven aid workers, saying: “It happens in war.”

“We will investigate it right to the end… We are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.”

In a statement shared on X, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin said that full accountability for the strike is needed.

“Appalled by the deaths of humanitarian workers in an Israeli strike, killed providing lifesaving aid to the people of Gaza,” Martin said.

“This again underlines the need for an immediate ceasefire to protect civilians and allow full humanitarian access.”

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan called on the EU to issue sanctions against Israel, along with an end to the US supplying military aid. 

“Not content with mass starvation in Gaza, the killing of aid workers, destroying hospitals and restricting ⁦Al Jazeera, the Israeli Government seem hell bent on all out war with Hezbollah & Iran,” he wrote on X, referring to a separate, deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria’s Damascus that allegedly came from Israel. 

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also called for EU sanctions, along with an Israeli boycott and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald urged world leaders to call for a ceasefire and remarked that the Irish government “can and must do so much more to hold Israel accountable for its crimes”.

“They can begin by making a meaningful declaration in the ICJ Genocide case against Israel without further delay, expelling the Israeli ambassador, enacting the Illegal Israeli settlements divestment bill, enacting the Occupied Territories Bill, increasing pressure to suspend the EU-Israel association agreement, and by recognising the state of Palestine,” said McDonald.

In a post on X, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Matt Carthy said that if the strike “doesn’t force the world to act against the barbaric, hateful, cowardly Israeli regime – what the hell will?”

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith also condemned the “ruthless killing” of aid workers, which she deemed “the latest barbaric act by Israeli forces in its genocidal campaign in Gaza”. 

“It is long past time for our Government’s useless hand-wringing about Israel’s continuing genocide. There must be immediate action to expel the Israeli ambassador; to impose meaningful sanctions on Israel, as well as an end to the use of Shannon Airport by Israel’s main arms supplier, the US military,” she said. 

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said the killing “cannot go unchallenged”. 

“Not content with targeting hospitals and the indiscriminate bombardment of civilians, Israeli forces continue to hamper the brave efforts of aid workers who are trying to bring desperately needed food and relief to the Palestinian people,” she said in a statement. 

While there has been a strengthening of language from the international community in recent weeks, words of condemnation will not be enough to stop the slaughter.

Nothing less than punitive economic sanctions, along with an immediate end to the supply of weapons to Israel by countries such as the United States and Germany, is required.”

Cairns said that the alleged strike by Israel on the Iranian consulate in Syria on Sunday shows that Netanyahu’s government “seem intent on provoking Hezbollah and Iran into a wider conflict in the Middle East, which will further destabilise the region”. 

“When will enough be enough? How many lines need to be crossed? What is it going to take for the international community to act against Israel?”