Envoys sign a book of condolence for Gaza victims
ISRAEL'S ambassador to Ireland has signed a book of condolence expressing his sympathy for the victims of the ongoing conflict "in Gaza and surrounding territories".
The book, located in the Mansion House in Dublin, was opened by Lord Mayor Christy Burke yesterday.
A spokesman for Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai, who began his term in Ireland in 2010, said he welcomed the mayor's gesture.
He stressed that as the book was a symbol of condolence for both Palestinian and Israeli dead, the ambassador was happy to sign.
Mr Burke said he had discussed the crisis with Mr Modai over the past week and had expressed his opposition to Israeli military attacks on Gaza schools and hospitals.
Earlier in the day, Palestinian ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek became the first person to sign the book.
He welcomed what he called "a positive gesture" from the mayor and called for a far more active response from the European Union in order to stop the bloodshed.
Mr Burke said he understood that there were losses on both sides of the conflict but that the majority of Irish citizens would support his opposition. "As the days went by there was a child dying every hour and I found that very hard to stomach, so I decided that I would open a book of condolence."
Dr Suzanne Donnelly, from Blackrock, south Dublin, came in to sign with her son, Cuan McCauley (10).
"I would support a number of charities in the region and we get daily updates directly from people on the ground. They are horrific and upsetting and that is why I am here."