‘Let’s not make Gaza a graveyard for international law’, Northern Ireland’s FM says as she calls for ceasefire

8 February 2024, 18:38 | Updated: 8 February 2024, 20:01

First Minister of Northern Ireland tells Andrew Marr: Gaza is a 'graveyard for children'.

By Jenny Medlicott

The First Minister of Northern Ireland has said Gaza should not become a ‘graveyard for international law' as she called on the global community to stay 'firm' in the court of international law.

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Speaking to LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr, Michelle O’Neill has told LBC that the war in Gaza should not become a graveyard for international law as she called for a ceasefire.

She told LBC: “We need the international community to stand strong and to stay firm in the court of international law.

“That's where everybody must be. And I really only hope that in the coming days and weeks that we can get to a point where we see a ceasefire”.

More than 27,700 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its offence on Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Around 1,3000 people were killed during the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7.

Ms O'Neill continued: “I still use every opportunity I have to have a voice in this issue to please call for a ceasefire.

“The slaughter of innocent Palestinian people, you know the graveyard for children? Let’s not make it the graveyard for international law.”

Read more: Israeli PM rejects Hamas' ceasefire deal as he vows 'total victory' in Gaza 'within months'

Read more: Hamas 'generally positive' over Gaza ceasefire proposal and hostage release, Qatar says

It comes after Ms O'Neill and Rishi Sunak met on Monday.
It comes after Ms O'Neill and Rishi Sunak met on Monday. Picture: Alamy

Her comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ proposed ceasefire terms on Wednesday, as he vowed “total victory” in Gaza.

The First Minister’s comments come after Mr Netanyahu said on Wednesday that negotiations with Hamas were “not going anywhere” as he labelled the group’s demands as “bizarre”.

"There is no other solution but a complete and final victory," Mr Netanyahu said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"If Hamas will survive in Gaza, it's only a question of time until the next massacre."

His comments came despite reports that Hamas had been in a “generally positive spirit” over the ceasefire proposal.

Mr Netanyahu and Hamas will continue talks in pursuit of a deal.