Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Decision on funding highlights on-going hypocrisy of EU in relation to illegal occupation of Palestine

26 April, 2006


Commenting on a parliamentary question reply that he received from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in relation to the decision by the EU to block funding to the Palestinian National Authority, Sinn Fein Spokesperson on International Affairs Deputy Aengus O Snodaigh welcomed Minister Ahern's stated determination to maintain the overall volume of this state's bilateral assistance to the Palestinian people and said Sinn Fein will hold him to this.

However, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "in light of this commitment and the overwhelming public support for Palestine in Ireland and across Europe, I am dismayed and frustrated that he did not vote against the European Councils decision to revise its assistance to Palestine.

He said, "The Council's decision highlights the on-going hypocrisy that characterises the positions taken by the EU in relation to the illegal occupation of Palestine. On the one hand Palestinians are being punished, with real economic sanctions, simply because of who they chose to vote for. On the other, Israel is merely "urged" to take steps to improve the lot of Palestinians under occupation. The EU has been "urging" Israel for years. The Council and each Member State must suspend preferential trade with Israel until such time as it renounces violence, recognises Palestine's right to exist and accepts previous agreements and obligations. This type of action against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is long overdue.

"All across Europe Human Rights and Palestine Solidarity organisations are demanding that the EU overturn its decision to block funds to the Palestinian National Authority. It is up to each Member State beginning with this one and Dermot Ahern to reflect these demands at Council level." ENDS

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