Taoiseach Micheál Martin has condemned the violence in Gaza as "absolutely unacceptable" and "unjustifiable".

He told the Dáil that you cannot bomb Gaza "as it is being bombed" without killing innocent civilians.

"Both sides should immediately cease hostilities", he added. It is "shocking" and the world is "watching with horror", Mr Martin said.

He was responding to Solidarity - People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who had repeated his call for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled, a call echoed by fellow TD Paul Murphy.

Mr Boyd Barrett said that "credible sources" informed him that US jets en route to Israel were refuelling at Baldonnell in Dublin and he asked the Taoiseach to clarify if that was the case.

Meanwhile, the Government has joined a compensation claim against the Israeli government for the destruction of property it and other EU governments have funded in the Palestinian Territory.

Feilim McLaughlin, Director of Global Programmes, Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the claim has been undertaken with other EU donors.

This happens on "a regular basis", he told the Oireachtas oJint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, which heard submissions on displacements and demolitions in the occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Irish Government has also raised the issue at ambassadorial and ministerial levels and "will continue to do so", Mr McLaughlin said.

The claim is not taken before a court.

He was responding to Sinn Féin TD John Brady, who noted that the Government has joined a compensation claim for €625,000.


Diplomatic efforts intensify as strikes on Gaza continue


Christopher Holt of the West Bank Protection Consortium said that his organisation has been submitting compensation claims against Israel for three years, but to date has secured no compensation.

While these claims are not made through a court, he said, they provide a record that could be used by member states in the future.

Mr McLaughlin said Irish Aid will invest €16 million in the occupied territory this year.

The EU has consistently been the biggest donor, contributing "€600m per annum in recent years", he said.