First Minister on Gaza: “foreign affairs is not a matter devolved to Welsh Government”
First Minister Carwyn Jones has given his first public statement on the situation in Gaza, saying he like everyone else watched the escalating violence in Gaza with a “growing sense of sadness and horror.”
The Welsh Government chose to release its first statement on Gaza as a 72 hour truce between Israeli and Palestinian continues into a second day, both sides are in-direclty holding talks in Cairo.
The four week conflict has claimed 1,900 lives, many of them children, while scores of people living in Gaza have been displaced by the Israeli Defence Force attacks.
Mr Jones said:
“At the time of writing, the two sides have agreed to a ceasefire, and in common with all decent people I’m hoping that a period of calm, negotiation and reconciliation can now exist in the region, and the journey towards a lasting peace can begin afresh.
[pullquote cite=”Carwyn. Jones type=”left, right”]“You will know that foreign affairs is not a matter devolved to Welsh Government, and therefore we do not have any direct role or responsibility in terms of a formal response to the conflict. . First Minister Carwyn Jones [/pullquote]
“However, I agree with Ed Miliband’s remarks on this matter. He is right to call for an immediate end to the hostilities that have accounted for the lives of so many civilians, including so many women and children. I too call for the UK Government to play more of a leading role.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization; their decision to fire rockets and build tunnels into Israel has been delivered at a huge financial and human cost and Israel has a right to protect itself from these attacks. However, it is difficult to justify the nature of the response to these provocations. There simply is no moral rationale to continue military action unchecked when civilians are suffering in the way, and in the numbers, we have seen in recent days.
[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Israel-Gaza conflict: The Numbers…[/highlight]
4,760+ air strikes on Gaza
3,356 rockets fired at Israel
1,875 people killed in Gaza
+85% of deaths are civilians – UN estimates
3 civilians killed in Israel
64 Israeli soldiers killed