14 April 2009

Adams Gaza Report To George Mitchell

Adams to send out Middle East report

SINN FÉIN president Gerry Adams is to send a report on his Middle East trip this week to US peace envoy George Mitchell.

He plans to send copies of the report to Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, the Israeli government and to Sinn Féin’s contacts internationally.

Speaking by telephone from Jerusalem, Mr Adams expressed shock at the “wholesale destruction” he saw during his visit to the Gaza Strip this week.

He also visited the Israeli town of Sderot whose residents have been the subject of rocket attack from Palestinian militants.

“These are just ordinary working people and we said that to Hamas,” Mr Adams said. However, he added that there was “no proportionality” between Israel’s attack on Gaza and the rockets fired into Sderot.

Mr Adams said he had to walk through the Eretz checkpoint on his way out of Gaza, and that it took 2½ half hours to get through. He also visited a Palestinian refugee camp at Bethlehem, and met Israeli non-governmental organisations in Jerusalem.

On the destruction in Gaza, he said: “You actually have to be there to see how bad it is.”

He also met an official from the Israeli foreign ministry, but no government politicians.

Describing Gaza as “an open-air prison”, the Sinn Féin leader highlighted the poor state of medical facilities in particular. source