Press release

Israel must pay to rebuild Gaza

15th February 2024

Israel must be made pay for its destruction of Gaza and cannot expect countries such as Ireland to foot the bill for its brutality, the Green Party has said. 

The party’s comments came after the Irish Government announced €20m in support for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for its work providing vital assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and across the Middle East region.

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, along with Deputy Patrick Costello and Senator Roisín Garvey met UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini in Dublin today (February 15th) during which they discussed the situation on the ground in Gaza.

Green Party TD Patrick Costello said that while the money was very welcome and would help ease the immediate suffering of the Gazan population it shouldn’t allow Israel to escape its obligations. 

“The UN estimates that 90% of the population of Gaza faces acute hunger so the money that has been committed by the Irish Government is desperately needed and will have an immediate effect.”

“But we must not forget that Israel has also destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure and funding provided to UNRWA by Ireland and other countries cannot simply go towards paying for this damage.”

Deputy Costello pointed to data compiled by the Education Cluster, which works with partners on the ground in Gaza, found that by the end of January 2024, 386 school buildings in Gaza had sustained damages. This represented more than 78% of all school buildings in Gaza and included 25 schools which were completely damaged and 113 which were severely damaged. Many of these schools would have been funded by countries such as Ireland. 

Green Party spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Senator Vincent P Martin, said that it would be unthinkable that Israel could leave others to pay the cost of this damage. 

“From the beginning Israel has waged this war in an utterly reckless and indiscriminate manner without any apparent concern for who or how many innocent people got in the way of its pursuit of Hamas.” 

“Israel must know that there is a cost to this recklessness and it cannot be borne by innocent Palestinians nor the wider international community which had spent many years building up this vital infrastructure.”

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