'No justification for Gaza casualties' - Flanagan
FOREIGN Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan says the number of deaths in Gaza following constant Israeli attacks cannot be justified.
However, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland has praised Mr Flanagan for the minister's "understanding" of Israel's plight in combatting attacks by Hamas.
In the wake of criticism of the Government's stance, Mr Flanagan met with Israeli Ambassador Boaz Modai (inset) yesterday morning to discuss the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
Afterwards, Mr Modai said he was "grateful for his [Mr Flanagan's] understanding of Israel's grave difficulties being the victim of constant, ongoing terrorist attacks from Hamas, which is the controlling government of Gaza".
During the meeting, Mr Flanagan expressed his concern for the high number Palestinian deaths resulting from the ongoing war.
"The appalling level of civilian casualties which we are now seeing in Gaza as a result of Israel's current military operation cannot be justified under any circumstances," he said.
Mr Flanagan condemned this weeks' attack on a school in Gaza, which is run by the UN.
"Such attacks on civilian institutions such as schools and hospitals are utterly unacceptable, contrary to international law and must stop immediately," he said.