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Govt crticised over defeated ICJ genocide case motion

The leader of the Social Democrats has criticised the Government for defeating her party’s motion last night on Gaza, and its demand for the Irish State to join South Africa in its legal case against Israel on genocide charges “at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Holly Cairns demanded that Tánaiste Micheál Martin match his condemnation of Israel’s actions with words and state when Ireland would support South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), rather than leaving it to some “undefined time in the future”.

In reply, the Tánaiste said that Ireland had already acted – it was the first EU member state to call for a humanitarian ceasefire, unimpeded access to humanitarian aid and for the release of all hostages held by Hamas.

He contended that Opposition parties were adopting a “fundamentally disingenuous approach” because no country has joined South Africa at the International Court of Justice, adding to say otherwise was “very cynical” and a bid to leverage political advantage.

Ms Cairns said the Fianna Fál leader had previously said “without hesitation” that genocide was happening in Ukraine, and she asked him to explain why he would not call out what was happening in Gaza today.

The Tánaiste said he had expressed extreme concern about statements from two Israeli ministers which were “genocidal in their content” regarding the displacement of the Palestinian population in Gaza.

Last night’s Social’s Democrats’ motion that demanded the Government support South Africa’s assetion at the ICJ that genocide has been taking place in Gaza was defeated by 70 votes to 62.

However, a Government amendment to the motion was ultimately passed by the lower house by a margin of 71 votes to 58.

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