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Minister should call for arms embargo against Israel – Ó Snodaigh

12 February, 2009

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called on Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin to publicly call for an arms embargo against Israel. He also repeated his call for a suspension of the Euro-Med Agreement which underpins preferential trade with Israel.

He said, "While the focus has understandably shifted to Gaza it is important that we do not forget the ongoing plight of Palestinians in the West Bank.

"The expansion of Israeli settlements and outposts accelerated in 2008. According to the Israeli NGO 'Peace Now' 1,257 new structures were built in settlements during 2008 compared to 800 in 2007. And 261 new structures were built in outposts in 2008 compared to 98 in 2007.

"This is a land grab. Israel are pre-empting and jeopardising the prospect of any just and lasting solution being reached via negotiations. What concrete action will you take against Israel?

"Will you enter discussions with the Minister for Defence in order to cease the purchase by Ireland of Israeli military products and services? and if will you call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel?

"In light of Israel's long track record of human rights abuse and its most recent bombardment of Gaza and killing of over 1,000 Palestinians a third of them children, will you at this stage demand that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law." ENDS

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