Former Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has extended his “deepest condolences and solidarity to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the death of Saeb Erekat who has died as a result of Covid-19”.
Gerry Adams said:
“Ba mhaith liom mo chombhrón a thabhairt do chlann Erekat. It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Saeb Erekat. In the course of my visits to the Middle East and as part of Sinn Féin’s long relationship with the Palestinian people I had the pleasure of meeting Saeb Erekat.
“As the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and as the chief negotiator for the PLO, Saeb was steadfast in his defence of the rights of the people of Palestine to freedom and independence. He was committed dialogue and peace and to the creation of a genuine peace process in the Middle East that would resolve all of the relationships and ensure a peaceful, democratic future for the people of that region.
“In 2014 during the Israeli assault on Gaza Saeb made time to brief me about the desolation and destruction being inflicted on the citizens of that besieged area by the Israeli government. He worked hard to secure a humanitarian ceasefire in the face of Israeli rejections.
“Saeb was very conscious of the long positive relationship between the Irish and Palestinian people. He thanked the people of Ireland for their ongoing support for the Palestinian people.
“Saeb will be missed by his comrades, his family and the Palestinian people. As they and we seek to advance the peaceful and democratic objectives to which he dedicated his life there is an onus on the Irish government, at this important juncture in international relations, to implement past Oireachtas motions and recognise the state of Palestine.”
Councillor Pearse McGeough on behalf of Louth Sinn Fein said “this is sad news for the Palestinian people and also for those who support the cause of Palestinians. Saeb was an inspiration to all those who love or desire freedom throughout the world. Saeb was always a good friend of Ireland and he will be sorely missed.
“I think it is incumbent upon the Irish Government to stop paying lip service to the Palestinians and recognise the State of Palestine already passed in Oireachtas motions.
“To all Saeb’s family, friends and comrades I extend on behalf of the Party in Louth, our sincere condolences.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis”