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Source: Ireland
15 June 2007

Minister Ahern condemns violence in Palestine

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., has condemned the continuing violence in Gaza and the West Bank and warned of the danger of an outright Palestinian civil war.  Speaking in Dublin today, in advance of a discussion of the crisis at next Monday’s EU Council meeting in Luxembourg, Minister Ahern stated:

“I strongly condemn the terrible violence and killings in Gaza and the West Bank over recent days.  It has deepened the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and is setting back the cause of the Palestinian people.  All violence in and from the Occupied Territories must end.  It is essential that all parties avoid an outright civil war, which would destroy the remaining hopes of the Palestinian people and further destabilise the entire region.

“The root cause of the growing crisis among the Palestinians is the absence of a credible political process to resolve the Israeli – Palestinian conflict

“There can be no military solution.  We have strongly supported the efforts of President Mahmoud Abbas to achieve a united Palestinian position in support of a negotiated two-State solution, and continue to believe that there is no other sane option at this point. 

“I believe that the European Union must now act more effectively, in cooperation with our international partners, with the Palestinians and the Israelis and with neighbouring Arab States, to keep alive the prospect of a two-State solution.  I will be making this point very clearly in the urgent discussions which EU Foreign Ministers will hold at the Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday”.

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