We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leo Varadkar in the Dáil. (File photo)
israel-hamas war

Varadkar: 'If it's unacceptable for Putin to target power stations, the same must apply to Israel'

In the Dáil this afternoon, Leo Varadkar warned that Israel’s support will ‘evaporate quickly’ if it carries out such attacks on Gaza.

LAST UPDATE | 11 Oct 2023

THE TAOISEACH HAS warned Israel against targeting civilian infrastructure in its reprisal attacks on Hamas in Gaza, drawing a comparison with Vladimir Putin’s assaults on power stations in Ukraine.

At Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Leo Varadkar warned that Israel must not carry out such attacks over the coming days and weeks.

“Israel is gaining a lot of solidarity from other parts of the world but I believe that will evaporate and evaporate very quickly, if the Israeli response in Gaza and elsewhere is disproportionate, so there must be restraint,” Varadkar said. 

“There must be no attacks on civilian infrastructure. If it’s unacceptable for the president of Russia to target power stations or civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, the same must apply to the Israeli government and the actions it takes on targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza.”

Varadkar added that aid funding amounting to €16m for Palestinians will remain in place and stressed that the money would not end up with Hamas.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the government’s commitment to aid and also Varadkar’s stance that the “Israeli state is not exempt” from the rule of law.

Both leaders condemned Hamas for last Saturday’s surprise onslaught, which has resumed intense conflict resulting in the death of over 2,000 people in Israel and Gaza. 

1,200 Israelis are reported dead and 900 people in Gaza have been killed. 

McDonald said there needed to be a “step change” in how the region is approached. 

She said Israel “cannot play fast or loose as a rogue state violating again and again the basic rights of the Palestinian people”, and called for the government to take a firm line.

In response, Varadkar said the “baseline position” is that peace can only be achieved through a two-state solution, which he said becomes “increasingly difficult with every day that passes, every settlement that is built” in the region.

At tonight’s Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, it was unanimously agreed to send a letter of condolence to the Israeli embassy following the attack, including an appeal for restraint and adherance to international law. 

Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney told the meeting that the attack by Hamas had to be condemned unreservedly as an act of terrorism. 

He also emphasised the need for de-escalation of violence and adherence to international law to protect innocent civilians in Gaza. 

With reporting by Christina Finn

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.