Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has arrived in Israel for a four-day visit to the Jewish state, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza.

Mr Gilmore will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. He will also hold talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and foreign minister Riyad Maliki.

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But Mr Gilmore will begin his trip with a visit to Gaza, where he will tour a number of UN facilities projects. He also plans on discussing Israel’s blockade on the Hamas-run economy.

“We know well from our own experience how difficult the process of making peace can be, particularly taking the first crucial steps,” the deputy PM said, and expressed Ireland’s “strong desire to see substantive direct peace talks begin as soon as possible.”

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