April 24th, 2009 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen will accompany his Party Leader Enda Kenny T.D. when he pays his first visit as Leader of Fine Gael to Israel and Palestine this week.This is the first fact finding mission by Enda Kenny T.D. as Leader of Fine Gael to the Middle East. The Visit will take place between Wednesday, 22nd April 2009 and Saturday, 25th April 2009.
During the Visit to Israel and Palestine the Group will meet with Senior Israeli Politicians including the Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. They will also pay an early morning visit to Yad Vashem (Jewish People’s Holocaust Memorial).

On Friday morning they will travel to GAZA where they will be briefed on the situation on the ground by Director of UN Relief and Works Agency, in Gaza John Ging and they will see for themselves the devastation caused by the Israeli Bomb attacks in the Region early this year. In the afternoon they will travel to the Israeli town of Sderot. Sderot is less than a mile from Gaza (a town visited by US President Barack Obama last July and subject to many rocket attacks over the last seven years).

On Saturday, they will visit Ramallah in Palestine which is located north of Jerusalem and currently serves as the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority. There they will meet with the President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Foreign Minister Dr. Mahmoud Zahar.

Deputy Pat Breen is Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs with Special responsibility for Human Rights and he is also a Member of the Council of Europe.

Indeed only last July Deputy Breen participated in a Tripartite Forum on the Middle East which was organised by the Council of Europe’s Political Affairs Sub-Committee on the Middle East.

Deputy Breen said that the “That was the first time such an eminent group from both Israel and Palestine had formally met under European auspices and they spend time sharing their views and listening to our experience here in Europe.”

“The visit is being coordinated by the Embassies in Tel Aviv and Ramallah and will also include visits to the religiously significant towns of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.”