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Statement by President Higgins on attacks on aid convoys providing humanitarian relief to Gaza

Date: Tue 14th May, 2024 | 18:47

“All those who support human rights, humanitarian relief, the United Nations and its Charter must be appalled at the attacks which are being witnessed on aid convoys providing vital humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Two incidents on Monday alone demonstrated the appalling circumstances which aid workers are facing. In Rafah, a vehicle clearly marked with the United Nations emblem came under fire, killing a UN staff member and injuring others.

On the same day at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron in the Occupied West Bank, a convoy was surrounded by a mob with food packages thrown on the road and bags of grain ripped open. These attacks are taking place at a time when people are suffering from starvation.

Human Rights Watch today issued a report demonstrating how these are not isolated incidents. In the report, HRW have detailed at least eight strikes carried out on aid workers’ convoys and premises in Gaza since October 2023, even though aid groups had provided their coordinates to the Israeli authorities to ensure their protection.

These strikes led to at least 31 aid workers and those with them being killed or injured. In total, the United Nations has said that more than 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza over the course of the conflict.

On a matter like this there can be no equivocation, it must be condemned by all those who believe in humanitarian principles. Silence on this matter would reflect badly on any member of the European Union.”