Israel slams Irish PM for not mentioning Gaza hostages

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Israel’s foreign ministry on Thursday denounced Ireland’s new prime minister Simon Harris for not mentioning the hostages held by militants in Gaza during a speech to the Irish parliament.

Israel is also furious with Ireland over its intention to recognize a Palestinian state and to intervene in the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Harris - who was sworn in on Tuesday - “forgot” to “mention the 133 Israeli hostages who have been rotting in Hamas tunnels for the past six months,” Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

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It said Ireland was also “planning to award additional prizes to terrorism” by backing South Africa, which it called “the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organization, and the possible recognition of a Palestinian state in the future.”

“After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust... there are those in Ireland who persist on being on the wrong side of history,” the statement added.

Harris, 37, Ireland’s youngest-ever premier, told the Irish parliament Tuesday that “innocent children, women and men are being starved and slaughtered” in Gaza.

“We have not been silent on the unforgiveable terrorist actions of Hamas on October 7, nor can we be silent on the disproportionate reaction of the Israeli government,” said the leader of the center-right Fine Gael party.

In a March 27 statement declaring that it would intervene at the International Court of Justice, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs cited “taking of hostages” as among violations of international humanitarian law that have occurred in Israel and Gaza since October 7.

The leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia, in a joint statement with Spain on March 22, expressed “readiness to recognize Palestine” when “the circumstances are right.”

The war in Gaza began on that day with Hamas’s attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,482 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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Palestinian militants also took about 250 hostages, 129 of whom Israel says remain in Gaza, including 34 the Israeli army says are dead. Four other Israelis were being held there before the war, Israel says.

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