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EU message to Israel must change

31 December, 2008


Responding to Israel’s refusal to agree to a 48-hour ceasefire proposal that would have enabled desperately needed humanitarian aid access into Gaza, Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has again called on the EU to suspend its European-Mediterranean Agreement with Israel.
 
The Dublin MEP said:
 
“Israel has imposed a cruel and brutal blockade on the people of Gaza since June of 2007. This blockade of humanitarian aid, food and fuel has crippled the day-to-day life of Gaza and is the context against which Israel’s current military aggression is set. This tactic has been one of collective punishment and Israel’s refusal to instate the proposed 48-hour ceasefire that would have enabled the transport of humanitarian aid safely into Gaza is more of the same.
 
“European leaders have regularly accredited peace in Europe to the union’s economic reliance on one another. This same principle needs to be applied to Israel. 



“The EU-Israel Association Agreement, which seeks to strengthen the EU’s preferential relationship with Israel in areas including economic, trade, security and diplomatic relations, will come before the European Parliament next month. Israel is in blatant contravention of its existing preferential trade agreement with the EU, which stipulates that Israel must respect human rights. 



"By bringing forward this proposed new agreement, the EU has sent a message that sanctions will not be imposed on Israel despite its daily abuse of human rights such as the denial of aid for Gaza, the building of the Apartheid wall, the current ongoing settlements in the West Bank and its current disproportionate military aggression against Gaza.



“The EU’s ‘message’ to Israel needs to change and tough talk cannot be shied away from. The people of Gaza need action not rhetoric from European leaders.” ENDS

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