Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD has today condemned the “act of piracy” carried out by the Israeli government who are blocking and boarding the SV Estelle flotilla on its way to Gaza.
Over 80 parliamentarians across the island signed a message of support for the ship before it left on its voyage.
The crew on board include Members of Parliament from Greece, Norway, Sweden and Spain.
The flotilla is expected to arrive in Gaza this weekend.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Yesterday I commended all the crew of the SV Estelle flotilla for attempting to break the illegal siege of Gaza and expressed hope they would have a safe journey and arrive in Gaza this weekend.
“Today we are hearing that Israeli commandos are blocking and boarding the flotilla and arresting activists including parliamentarians from various countries who are board.
“This is an act of piracy and should be condemned.
“The blockade of Gaza by Israel is illegal under international law and is an act of collective punishment on the Palestinian people. Conditions are getting so bad in Gaza under this blockade that a recent UN report stated that without severe intervention Gaza will become unliveable for Palestinians by 2020.
“I recently raised this issue with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and I called on the Irish Government to continue to place pressure on the Israeli authorities to lift the blockade on Gaza, ensure that humanitarian aid can enter Gaza, and to drive efforts to find a two-state peace process to the conflict.
“The attack on SV Estelle Flotilla follows the attack on a previous flotilla where 10 people were killed and a large number of others injured.
“This latest act of piracy will make the conditions for a peace process in the region to evolve even more difficult.”