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Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill. (Photo: Sinn Fein, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The newly-appointed First Minister of Northern Ireland told journalists on Thursday that she believes Hamas will eventually be considered as a partner for peace in the Middle East, the Belfast Telegraph reported

In an interview for Andrew Marr’s Drivetime LBC radio show on Thursday, Michelle O’Neill also called for a ceasefire in Gaza, warning that the Strip is “the graveyard for children, let it not be the graveyard for international law”.

“A long time ago, the IRA was seen as a terrorist organization by the British government. (…). Do you think that Hamas, although regarded as a terrorist organization by many people around the world, are going to be eventually a partner for peace?”  the show host, Marr, asked O’Neill.

“Yes, I think you only have to look at our own example, to know that how important dialogue is, and it is the only way you’re going to ever bring an end to conflict,” O’Neill responded, adding: 

“So, what we need to see in the Middle East, in particular, in relation to Palestine is that we need to see a ceasefire now. And we need the international community to be singing in chorus and harmony in terms of a ceasefire now.”

The First Minister also said that “anybody can stretch Israel’s position of being one of defense because this is bombardment, day after day, slaughter of the Palestinian people”.

“This needs to stop and we need the international community to stand strong and to stay firm in the court of international law,” she explained.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, and 67,459 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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