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Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Gaza. (Photo by Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Palestine & Israel

UN Security Council resolution welcomed by Trócaire but a permanent ceasefire and urgent access to aid are paramount

Trócaire’s CEO Caoimhe de Barra has welcomed a long awaited UN Security Council resolution which was announced today, but says a permanent ceasefire and urgent access to aid are paramount.

“This is welcome news and is long overdue but a ceasefire must be implemented and hostages released without delay. Access to aid must be massively ramped up, including in Northern Gaza, where it has been blocked by Israel. The people of Gaza have been suffering on a scale the world simply hasn’t seen this century and Israel’s blockage of UNRWA Aid in Northern Gaza is in essence a death sentence for families that have no other way to survive.”

“The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said on Sunday that Israel had definitively barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. Babies are already dying of malnutrition and dehydration and Israel’s decision to block UNRWA aid entering Northern Gaza will only serve to make this death toll higher. We categorically condemn this decision –it must be reversed and vital aid allowed through immediately.”

“Just last week the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), made up of UN agencies, NGO’s and other experts, warned that famine is imminent as 1.1 million people, half of the population of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity. Famine is projected to arrive in the north anytime between now and May. The latest report said that the ‘continued conflict and near-complete lack of access for humanitarian organisations will likely compound heightened vulnerabilities and extremely limited food availability as well as access to healthcare, water and sanitation.”

“The end of hostilities is only the beginning, we need to rebuild Gaza, rebuild people’s lives, and deal with the trauma and devastation. We need to seek justice and accountability for war crimes, whoever has committed these, and potential acts of genocide. We need to address the root causes of these devastating cycles of violence that destroy so many lives . To do so effectively, we need serious political leadership and we need to apply the maximum amount of pressure we can on Israel and also on the US.”

“There has to be an end to the brutal dispossession, dehumanisation and impoverishment of all Palestinians, if the cycle of war is to be broken. Ireland needs to step up under its future new Taoiseach to call for justice and accountability, for the sake of peace.”

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