President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins has condemned the attacks on aid in Gaza in a statement issued on Tuesday, May 14.

“All those who support human rights, humanitarian relief, the United Nations and its Charter must be appalled at the attacks which are being witnessed on aid convoys providing vital humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza," President Higgins said.

"Two incidents on Monday alone demonstrated the appalling circumstances which aid workers are facing.

"In Rafah, a vehicle clearly marked with the United Nations emblem came under fire, killing a UN staff member and injuring others.

"On the same day at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron in the Occupied West Bank, a convoy was surrounded by a mob with food packages thrown on the road and bags of grain ripped open.

"These attacks are taking place at a time when people are suffering from starvation."

The President continued: "Human Rights Watch today [May 14] issued a report demonstrating how these are not isolated incidents. In the report, HRW have detailed at least eight strikes carried out on aid workers’ convoys and premises in Gaza since October 2023, even though aid groups had provided their coordinates to the Israeli authorities to ensure their protection.

"These strikes led to at least 31 aid workers and those with them being killed or injured. In total, the United Nations has said that more than 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza over the course of the conflict.

"On a matter like this, there can be no equivocation, it must be condemned by all those who believe in humanitarian principles.

"Silence on this matter would reflect badly on any member of the European Union.”

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Tánaiste Micheál Martin discussed Ireland's response to the war in Gaza during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.

The Tánaiste said Ireland has been "pushing at EU level to call for an immediate ceasefire, as well as the unconditional release of hostages and full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access" since October.

He added: "We need to move on the formal recognition of the Palestinian State. After intensive discussions with European and Arab partners, we will do so before the end of this month.

"We need to garner more support for the Arab Peace Plan, which envisages clear, concrete timebound actions to make the two-state solution a reality. 

"We will continue to push at EU level for a much more robust response, focused now on preventing an even more disastrous situation in Rafah and on the need for a massive surge of humanitarian aid.

"And we will continue to support and advocate for the very small number of Irish citizens still in Gaza, along with a larger number of their dependents and family members."

In its latest impact report, published on May 13, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing Gaza's Ministry of Health, said there had been 35,091 reported Palestinian fatalities, including 7,797 children, and more than 78,000 reported injuries since October 7.