Israel's bombing of a refugee camp in Rafah has been branded as “absolutely inhumane and unacceptable” by Tánaiste Micheál Martin.
It comes as the Israel Defence Forces is believed to be preparing a ground offensive into Rafah, the world's largest refugee camp where over 1.5 million people are currently seeking shelter.
Some 100 people are estimated to have been killed at the camp overnight from airstrikes.
Mr Martin said he had “no doubt” the strikes on Rafah constituted as a war crime.
“In my view, it gravely violates international law,” he said.
“We’re looking now at what is the largest refugee camp in the world in terms of 1.5 million people in Rafah.
“They cannot be displaced safely and to bomb and mount a military operation in such a confided area with so many people is absolutely inhumane, unacceptable.”
The Tánaiste called on the international community to take action.
“We must do everything we possibly can to put the pressure on Israel not to proceed with this invasion,” he said.
“This is very very serious and it will create catastrophic conditions, on top of what are already dark situations for families with civilians in Gaza.
“We have to keep the pressure on.”
Mr Martin said global cooperation is needed and Ireland will play its part.
“It’s unacceptable what is happening and we have to do what we can which we will through the various forums we’re member of, particularly the EU and United Nations.
“We will be working with the Arab nations as well.
“We need to make it very clear to Israel that we view this as a violation of international humanitarian law."
It comes as the Irish women's national basketball team refused to shake hands with their Israeli opponents in a match last week after they were accused of being anti-Semitic.
Main image: Taoiseach Micheal Martin speaking at Government Buildings, Dublin in July 2021. Picture by: Julien Behal