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Israel must lift Gaza blockade – Ó Snodaigh

21 January, 2008

Sinn Féin International Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government to end its policy of preferential relationship with Israel in light of its blockade of Gaza which has left the region without humanitarian aid and with dwindling energy supplies. Deputy Ó Snodaigh described comments by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today that Israel will not 'allow them (Gaza residents) to live comfortable lives' as disgraceful.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Four days after Israel stepped up its blockade of Gaza humanitarian aid organisations are warning of humanitarian crisis yet Ehud Olmert says the blockade is to continue. His comments today in relation to not allowing the Palestinians in Gaza to live comfortable lives, while stating the obvious, were nothing short of a disgrace.

"I am once again calling on the Government here in Ireland to reverse its preferential relationship with Israel. I am particularly calling for an end to the preferential trade policy between the EU and Israel in order to hold that country accountable for its human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

"There is also an urgent need for the Government to at least double its humanitarian aid to Palestine. However international pressure must be brought to bear on the Israeli Government to end its blockade of Gaza and allow aid in.

"Israel has absolutely no right to do what it is doing. Israel must end its blockade of Gaza now." ENDS

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