Flanagan condemns attack on UN-run school

Minister for Foreign Affairs calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers at Stormont House in Belfast today. Photograph: PA

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers at Stormont House in Belfast today. Photograph: PA

Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 15:11

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said an attack on a UN-run school in Gaza was “utterly unacceptable” and that an immediate ceasefire was “absolutely essential”.

Speaking at Stormont House in Belfast, where he met Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers today, Mr Flanagan said he had been “activley engaged at diplomatic level” with the Israelis, Palestinians and Egyptians on the ongoing problems in Gaza.

“What happened last night, the perpetration of violent acts causing death at a UN run school is utterly unacceptable and the need for an immediate ceasefire is absolutely essential,” he said.

“I believe every effort must be made to ensure a cessation of hostilities and a bringing together of parties to discuss a medium- and long-term solution to what is a most difficult problem on the world stage.”

Mr Flanagan is due to address a recalled sitting of the Seanad on the developments in Gaza tomorrow.

Asked what this would achieve, he replied it would provide him with “a further platform to recount what I have been doing and Ireland has been doing as a small, neutral, but nevertheless influential state”.