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Siege of Gaza must be lifted immediately – Ó Snodaigh

9 November, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Justice and Human Rights Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh is currently in the Gaza Strip on a fact-finding mission with twelve other European Parliamentarians. Speaking from Gaza today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said blockade of the Strip by Israel must be lifted to let much needed supplies into the region.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh yesterday met with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Salam Fayyad who briefed him on the current political situation.

Speaking today from Gaza Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "It is quite clear just from looking around the place that Israel's blockade is taking a heavy toll on the people of Gaza.

"Since arriving here I have visited two hospitals including Al Nassir Children's Hospital. Both hospitals are under huge pressure due to a lack of supplies and equipment to repair their machines. They are forced to send x-rays and scans for signs of cancer to Egypt or even Israel for assessment.

"Today I was out with the UN Relief and Works Agency who are struggling to provide food and run schools for the population here.

"I met fishermen who informed me that they are constantly under attack from the Israelis as they attempt to go about their work and I visited the sanitation centre which is also struggling due to a shortage of spare parts.

"Tomorrow I am due to visit a number of refugees camp to see the conditions there.

"I am also due to visit the power station and am told that there will be no fuel left after tomorrow to power the region as the Israelis are blocking the fuel from coming in.

"It is quite clear that Israel's blockade of Gaza is the cause of a major humanitarian crisis and must be lifted. The people here are facing a major food, fuel and medical shortage and are in dire need of help. The International community must intervene here and put pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza immediately." ENDS

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