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Smoke rises over the residential areas in Rafah following Israeli attacks last month. Alamy Stock Photo
Negotiations

Minister Simon Coveney says it’s not 'realistic' for the US to stop supporting Israeli military

Coveney said the ‘military support is about an awful lot more than the war in Gaza’.

LAST UPDATE | 14 Feb

MINISTER FOR ENTERPRISE Simon Coveney has said it is not a “realistic ask for the US to stop militarily supporting Israel”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Coveney said this is “because (US) military support is about an awful lot more than the war in Gaza”.

“It’s also in relation to Iran,” added Coveney, speaking about US military funding to Israel.

Coveney remarked: “We should be realistic, and being realistic means that the US needs to use its influence to bring about a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages and a future without Hamas, and that is how we will protect lives in the region.”

Coveney also said the actions of Hamas on 7 October “does not justify a continued war effort in Gaza”.

At least 28,473 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s response, according to the Gaza health ministry.

“I don’t believe what is happening now is about self-defence,” said Coveney, “this war in Gaza has gone way beyond that and I think most people recognise that, even Israel’s closest allies.”

Yesterday, Coveney also accused Israel of “behaving like a rogue state” as Benjamin Netanyahu’s government pressed ahead with plans for the major offensive.

Foreign governments and the United Nations have voiced increasingly frantic alarm about the possible civilian toll of such an assault.

However, Israel has vowed to press ahead with its campaign until it successfully eradicates Hamas from all of Gaza, including Rafah.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that an Israeli delegation yesterday left talks in Egypt to pause the military campaign in Gaza.

The negotiations were part of an intensifying effort to secure a ceasefire before Israel proceeds with a full-scale ground incursion into the southern city of Rafah, where more than half of the territory’s population has fled.

Israeli intelligence chief David Barnea met CIA Director William Burns in the Egyptian capital for talks on a Qatari-brokered plan to temporarily halt fighting in Gaza.

Both Israeli and US media reported that negotiators left the talks in the capital Cairo without making much progress.

Last night, the Israeli delegation was on its way back from Cairo, an official in Netanyahu’s Office told The Times of Israel.

The Wall Street Journal, citing Egyptian officials, said the Israeli delegation had departed the Egyptian capital “without closing any of the major gaps in the negotiations”.

The talks will continue for another three days, according to Egyptian state-owned television channel Al Qahera, citing a senior Egyptian official.

The same official said the talks had been mostly “positive”, the television channel reported.

Meanwhile, a Hamas source said a member of the group’s political bureau would head a delegation to Cairo to meet the Egyptian and Qatari intelligence chiefs today.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel’s conduct of the Gaza war, is also due in Cairo today for talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

-With additional reporting from -© AFP 2024 

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