The case of an Irish-Israeli girl feared to be abducted in Gaza has been raised with the Palestinian Authority, an ambassador said.
The Palestinian ambassador to Ireland said she raised the case of eight-year-old Emily Hand after a meeting with Irish parliamentarians to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.
Dr. Jilan Abdalmajid called the humanitarian conditions facing the people of Gaza a “catastrophe” and called for a ceasefire.
In an interview with the PA news agency, she said the course of the conflict would change if the US called for an end to the war and highlighted the role of US figures in brokering a peace deal in Northern Ireland.
Dr. Abdalmajid also said that marches in support of Palestine gave them hope for the future.
She said she highlighted the case of Emily Hand, whose family had initially been told she died in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants before it was revealed this week that she may be among about 200 hostages brought to Gaza.
“I managed to speak to the Palestinian leadership about this and I said that some of the Irish MPs have asked if we can do something about it,” Dr. Abdalmajid told PA.
“I accepted the message and conveyed it to the Palestinian leadership,” she said, confirming that it meant the Palestinian Authority.
“I hope that all civilians will be protected. I hope that peace and security prevail in the region.
“The situation is terrible, it is a catastrophe. Every single description of what is happening now is genocide.”
Seven of her family members were killed and in recent days she has lost contact with others, which she said is the story of everyone who has relatives in Gaza.
Dr. Abdalmajid added: “These collective punishments imposed by Israel on the Palestinians in Gaza amount to war crimes.”
“I don’t know how long the Israelis will continue to attack and bomb Gaza and kill civilians.
“It is a failure of the international community. It’s really a failure. It is a failure of their humanity.
“More than 10,000 people and all of them civilians, 73 percent of the people killed are children, the elderly, women – are they Israel’s target?”
Asked how much Palestinian support there was for the October 7 Hamas attack, the ambassador replied: “There is no one to ask now.”
“At this point I can only say that the people of Palestine are united and defending themselves against this onslaught and aggression. We are trying to be united to give a voice to the whole world – that this is a political matter and a just cause.”
When asked to condemn the attack by Hamas militants on Israeli civilians, she said: “We reject the killing of innocents, of civilians.” That is not our morality.
“It is very important that this voice is heard – that we reject all types of killing. We are human beings and we feel that this is a very difficult situation.
“On the other hand, when I look at my people, innocent people are being killed… It is very hard to say anything other than that Israel is the one who should be condemned. That’s how I see it and that’s how our people see it too.”
Asked whether expressing condolences to her Israeli counterpart on the anniversary of the Hamas attack would be helpful to progress toward peace, the ambassador said: “The progress will be when Israel ends this war against the Palestinians.”
“That’s the most important thing – that there should be a ceasefire, that this war should stop, that the killings of Palestinian civilians should stop. “Then there is another way of doing it.”