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Government must clarify situation regarding use of Shannon for the transfer of military apparatus to Israel- Ó Snodaigh

29 June, 2006


Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD questioning the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern in the Dáil today said the kidnap by Israel of some 25 democratically elected Palestinian representatives demonstrates "the true nature of Israel's commitment to not so democratic principles."

He said, "Israel is without doubt one of the most abhorrent regimes on the planet. According to the UN Secretary General for Political Affairs, in the month prior to the capture of the Israeli soldier by Palestinians at least 49 Palestinians, including 11 children, were killed by Israeli forces and 259 injured. A ground assault on Gaza began yesterday involving tanks, bulldozers, thousands of troops undercover of air fire and the demolition of key pieces of civilian infrastructure including bridges and Gaza's electric power plant. The bombardment of civilian infrastructure amounts to collective punishment and a crime against humanity and the abduction and imprisonment by Israel of some 25 democratically elected Palestinian representatives demonstrates the true nature of Israel's commitment to not so democratic principles.

"Minister Ahern must clarify whether the Department of Foreign Affairs approves of the use of Shannon for the transfer of helicopters or any military apparatus to Israel. He must also indicate if he agrees that the role played by this state in the sale and transfer of arms and military apparatus to human rights abusers is absolutely unacceptable and must cease immediately and what steps he will take to ensure this ceases.

"The death of the Israeli settler is deeply regrettable and I would call on the Palestinians who are holding the Israeli soldier not to harm him." ENDS

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