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TD calls on Government to intervene in Palestinian hungerstrike

19 August, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on International Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has appealed to the Irish Government to intervene to bring about a speedy and just resolution to the mass Palestinian hungerstrike commenced Sunday last.

Speaking before today's protest at the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge organised by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The decision by thousands of Palestinian political prisoners to embark on a hunger strike is a stark indication of the level of desperation, frustration and anger that they are experiencing as a result of the Israeli government's continuing brutality and denial of even their most basic of human rights - not just in Israeli prisons but right across occupied Palestine.

"Irish republicans recognise from experience the age-old terror tactic of an occupying power which targets political prisoners with brutality and torture in an attempt to break the resolve and resistance of an occupied people. Israel must be made to recognise that it didn't work in Britain's prisons in Ireland and it won't work in Israeli prisons.

"I extend my solidarity to the prisoners and their families as they embark on what will likely be - judging from Irish experience and from the intransigent, Thatcherite public comments of the Israeli Minister of Internal Security - a traumatic and devastating form of non-violent protest.

"It is time for the international community to act decisively to prevent more unnecessary hungerstrike deaths. I therefore appeal to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen and the Irish Government to immediately intervene with the Israeli Government to bring a speedy and just resolution to the Palestinian hunger strike." ENDS

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