FF Senator slams Govt's 'shameful' abstention in UN vote on Gaza offensive

FF Senator slams Govt's 'shameful' abstention in UN vote on Gaza offensive
Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power

A Fianna Fáil Senator has said she is shocked and disgusted by the Government's decision to abstain in a UN Human Rights Council vote on whether to investigate Israel's offensive in Gaza.

The 46-member Council yesterday supported a Palestinian-drafted resolution by 29 votes. The United States was the only member to vote against it, while Ireland and 16 other European countries abstained.

It is understood the Irish abstention was because the draft Palestinian resolution did not pertain to possible breaches of international humanitarian law on both sides.

It came after the Hamas Leader last night called for a temporary truce in Gaza, to allow humanitarian aid into the territory.

More than 700 Palestinians and around 35 Israelis are now believed to have been killed in just over two weeks of conflict.

Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power described as "shameful" the Government's decision not to support an international inquiry into Israel’s actions in Gaza.

"The UN Human Rights Council wishes simply to investigate the allegations that Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza and to hold it to account, and I'm shocked the Irish Government did not support that," she said.

"Israel is murdering children (in Gaza) at the rate of one every two hours in the last two days and for our Government not to want that investigated is shocking."

Meanwhile, all the major supermarket chains have been asked to remove Israeli products from their shelves.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity campaign has written to grocery stores across the country calling for an outright boycott of Israeli produce.

Campaigners have been filling their trolleys with Israeli stock, then taking it to the check out to complain about its presence in the shops.

Seren Deeb, whose grandfather and extended family live in Gaza, said it was an easy and peaceful form of protest.

"We do not want Israeli goods in our shops," she said. "We do not want to buy Israeli potatoes or avocados."

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