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Government must demand end to illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel - Ó Snodaigh

16 March, 2006


Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called on the Dublin Government to publicly demand that the EU and US pressurise Israel into ending its illegal occupation of Palestine. Speaking at a press conference today in advance of the global day of protest against war and occupation on March 18th Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Too often this government abdicates its international policy responsibilities to Brussels and then does nothing to bring about a more just and human rights-based EU foreign policy."

He said, "Last Tuesday we witnessed a grave and illegal Israeli military incursion into the Palestinian West Bank town of Jericho. Shortly after British and US monitors left a Palestinian Prison in Jericho, the Israeli army cordoned off the area, used bulldozers to destroy the outer walls of the prison, fired tank shells and at least one air launched missile into the prison and subjected the prisoners to repeated artillery and machine-gun fire. 2 Palestinians, including a prison guard, were killed and at least 26 were injured (this was the figure provided by Israeli military sources). This is not an isolated example of Israeli policy -- it is the norm.

"How much more evidence of human rights abuses does the Dublin government need before it stops accepting Israeli excuses and assurances and demands that the EU suspend preferential trade with Israel?

"We are calling on the government to publicly demand that the EU and US pressurise Israel into ending its illegal occupation of Palestine. Too often this government abdicates its international policy responsibilities to Brussels and then does nothing to bring about a more just and human rights-based EU foreign policy.

"Articles within the Association Agreement between the EU and Israel make explicit provisions for the Agreements suspension on the grounds of non-compliance with international laws and human rights." ENDS

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