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Irish senator calls for sanctions on Israel

The Irish parliament passed a motion which declared Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank 'de facto annexation' and in contravention of international law

An Irish senator on Wednesday called for sanctions on Israel over war crimes committed against Palestinians in its latest onslaught on the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, Anadolu reports.

Gino Kenny, a member of the Irish parliament (TD) and spokesman for the People Before Profit party, accused the European Union of hypocrisy and double standards in sanctioning Belarus for the hijacking of an aircraft, while turning a blind eye to the Israel aggression.

"What I do doubt is your policy of appeasing apartheid Israel. It doesn't work. It never will work. You can't appease racists and murderers. And even today, the hypocrisy of the European Union is unbelievable. They mention they will sanction Belarus and at the same time a number of days ago, Israel were murdering children, over 65 children murdered by an Israeli state," Kenny said in a speech in the Irish senate.

"Now how can't you quantify that but at the same time when the EU have a trade agreement with Israel that is with billions and they are never sanctioned. How is that right? That can't be right. South Africa was isolated because of sanctions and international solidarity because people knew that system was rotten to the core and Israel is the same. We have to stand with the Palestinian people and say what Israel is all about; it's a racist state and it needs to be isolated," he added.

READ: A morning of victory in Jerusalem

Parliamentary motion

Kenny's call for sanctions follow a government-supported parliamentary motion submitted on Tuesday by Sinn Fein that has condemned Israel's "de facto annexation" of Palestinian land. The motion and the phrasing used to describe is the first of its kind to be used by an EU state referring to Israel and its occupation of Palestine.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who has been under pressure to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, supported the motion, condemning Israel's "manifestly unequal" treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied land.

"The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel's actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground … It is de facto annexation," Coveney said in a statement to parliament.

"This is not something that I, or in my view this house, says lightly. We are the first EU state to do so. But it reflects the huge concern we have about the intent of the actions and, of course, their impact," the foreign minister added.

Last week, an Egyptian brokered cease-fire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel came into effect, putting an end to 11 days of fighting.

At least 284 Palestinians have been killed, including 69 children and 40 women, and 1,910 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping East Jerusalem, now occupied by Israel, might eventually serve as capital of a future Palestinian state.

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