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Sinn Féin calls upon EU to support the suspension of preferential trade with Israel

12 July, 2004

Newly elected Sinn Féin MEPs for the Six Counties, Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald for Dublin have called upon the EU to "support the suspension of preferential trade with Israel". Ms de Brún and Ms McDonald made their comments after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel's West Bank barrier is illegal and should be removed.

Speaking today, Ms de Brún and Ms McDonald said:

"The EU must now take action to suspend its preferential trade agreement with Israel following Friday's ruling from the International Court of Justice, which stated that the barrier which runs through the West Bank is illegal and should be removed. Whilst everyone must be concerned about attacks on innocent Israelis, the construction of this illegal barrier is not the answer.

"The EU-Israel Association Agreement grants Israel favourable trading terms with the EU. This agreement includes a clause, which says that it is based on respect for human rights and democratic principles. However, the reality is that Israel continues to build walls of separation and support illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and it continues to ignore numerous United Nations resolutions on its illegal occupation of Palestine.

"The EU must cease this preferential trade agreement with Israel, at least until Israel complies with numerous UN resolutions. This apartheid wall greatly infringes upon the human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and has been universally condemned. It is imperative that the European Union sends a clear message to Israel that their occupation of Palestine is opposed in Europe, and the only way forward is through dialogue." ENDS

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