Hamas is a partner for future peace, Northern Ireland’s First Minister says

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Michelle O’Neill, the recently elected First Minister of Northern Ireland, said on Thursday that the terrorist group, Hamas, would eventually be considered the “future peace partner” in the Middle East.

In an interview on Tonight with Andrew Marr on British broadcaster LBC, O’Neill stressed the importance of dialogue, comparing the ongoing Israel-Hamas war to ongoing peace talks. in Northern Ireland.

In the interview, Marr asked her if the terrorist group Hamas would “eventually” be seen as a “partner for peace”.

“A long time ago the [Irish Republican Army] The IRA was seen as a terrorist organisation. The British Government and everyone could never talk to them,” said Marr. “Do you think that Hamas, even though many people around the world consider it a terrorist organization , be a partner for peace?”

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Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O'Neill

Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill (L) is interviewed after a press conference at the Foreign Press Association on February 8, 2024 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

“Yes,” said O’Neill, “I think you only have to look at our own example to know how important communication is and that’s the only way you ever give an end to conflict.”

“If republicans didn’t talk to the British government or if the British government didn’t talk to the republicans, in the past in Ireland we wouldn’t be in the position we are in today, enjoying from a peaceful and far more equal society today,” continued Northern Ireland’s first nationalist Prime Minister.

Children of Gaza soldiers

The IDF said it found documents, video footage, and photographs of Palestinian children used by Hamas Islamic Jihad as trained fighters. (IDF Speaker Unit)

She also called for an immediate ceasefire and for the application of international law in Gaza.

“And I really hope that in the coming days and weeks we can get to a point where we see a ceasefire first, that we have dialogue, and that we can reach the position about finally to recognize and acknowledge the state of Palestine. a two-state solution that the international community stands for,” said O’Neill.

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O’Neill argued that Israel was attacking the Palestinian people and not defending itself against Hamas terrorists.

“Anyone can extend Israel’s position as a protector because this is an explosion, day after day, killing the Palestinian people,” O’Neill continued.

Prime Minister Michelle O'Neill

First Minister Michelle O’Neill at a press conference at Stormont Castle, Belfast, following the renewal of the power steering group. (Oliver McVeigh/PA Images via Getty Images)

“This must stop, and we the international community must stand strong and stay firmly in the international court of law. That is where everyone must be,” she said.

“And I really hope that in the coming days and weeks we can get to a point where we see a ceasefire first, that we have dialogue, and that we can reach the position about finally to recognize and acknowledge the state of Palestine. a two-state solution that the international community stands for.’

Members of the host family

Thomas Hand, front, and Michael Levy look at posters of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas hanging on a fence on East 55th Street in New York City. Hand’s daughter, Emily, 8, and Levy’s brother, Or, are among the 240 Israelis being held in Gaza. (Sydney Borchers/Fox News Digital)

O’Neill also condemned the unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel, saying they broke international law by taking on enemies.

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“From the first day, we have said that what happened on October 7 was wrong, and that does not apply to international law in any way or shape, the hostilities that were raised were wrong,” said i.

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