Sinn Féin Justice & Equality Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has written to Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, to demand that his Department stops its spending on military equipment produced by Israeli companies.
The Donegal TD wrote to Minister Coveney as Israel resumed its assault on the people of Gaza today after a 72-hour ceasefire.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“I have asked Minister Coveney to make a firm commitment that, under his direction, the Department of Defence will no longer buy military equipment from Israel.
“Former Minister Alan Shatter, in response to a Parliamentary Question submitted by myself in May of this year, stated that the value of military equipment acquired or being acquired from Israeli companies since March 2011 is the region of €2.9 million.
“A Sunday Tribune article from January 2010 reports that between 2004 and 2009 the Department of Defence spent almost €14 million on military equipment made by Israeli manufacturers”
“The importation of military equipment from Israel sends a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
“Ireland should not be buying any military equipment, or trading with, a country that is massacring civilians and enforcing an illegal and brutal occupation on millions of Palestinians.
“As Israel resumed its assault on Gaza today, a decision to stop the purchasing of Israeli military equipment would send an unequivocal message that Ireland stands in the side of the abused, the colonised, and the oppressed.
“I hope that Minister Coveney will take the appropriate action and end the effective support of this state for Israel’s brutal actions.”