Doras Urges Government Action on Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Limerick based refugee and migrant rights organisation Doras has issued an urgent appeal to the Irish government, calling for immediate action to address the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the provision of safe pathways for Palestinians to seek refuge in Ireland. It follows calls for a ceasefire by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who says there have been “clear violations” of humanitarian law in Gaza.

In a letter addressed to the Taoiseach, Minister for Justice, and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Doras CEO John Lannon called on the government to act without delay.

“As an organisation, Doras condemns the killing of civilians in Israel and in Gaza, and we deplore all violations of international law. We express condolences with communities, families, and individuals in Ireland who are grieving and are fearful for their loved ones, and we call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties.”

Emphasising the urgency of the situation, Mr Lannon said “In Gaza, the situation now faced by the entire population is grave. People have nowhere to go to escape from air or ground attacks. They have no access to safe shelter, running water, and food and drinking water supplies are rapidly dwindling. Over 5000 people have already been killed, and the entire population, 50% of whom are children, are living in fear.  We ask the Irish government to do all in its power to ensure the people of Gaza are not subjected to further collective punishment or other war crimes.”

Doras is also calling on the government to facilitate legal pathways to protection in Ireland for individuals from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The organisation proposes several immediate actions, including prioritising international protection applications, expediting family reunification processes, and extending family reunification rights to a broader range of relatives.

Doras has also proposed that the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth consider extending the community sponsorship programme to include individuals from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, providing them with the opportunity to have a safe and secure future in Ireland.

Additionally, Doras has suggested that the government and the Department of Justice consider establishing a humanitarian admission programme for those from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, recognising the protracted nature of the crisis in Gaza.

Mr Lannon expressed concerns about potential conflicts spilling over into ethnic minority groups in Ireland and the rise in hate crimes. “We are mindful of the potential impact of the conflict on members of ethnic minority groups in Ireland and the need to ensure appropriate monitoring, community policing, and supports. There has been a rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitic hate crimes in other countries since the conflict started. Therefore, we urge that the necessary steps be taken to allay fears among communities here and ensure their safety”.

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