Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny today began a visit to the Middle East to witness the effects of the recent conflict between Hamas and the Israeli authorities.
A planned earlier trip had to be postponed when violence in the region broke out in December resulting in the deaths of almost 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
Billy Timmins, Fine Gael’s foreign affairs spokesman, Alan Shatter, children’s spokesman and human rights spokesman Pat Breen join Mr Kenny in the delegation.
They will visit Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, including the Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem, and the village of Al-Attatra in the Gaza Strip which suffered hugely as a result of Israeli shelling.
Mr Kenny will meet with Israeli politicians including the Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, Nachman Shai of the Kadima Party and Tzipi Hotovely of the Likud Party.
He will also meet with the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Minister of Information and Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Malki and John Ging, the head of the United National Relief and Works Agency in Gaza.