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Welcome for EU aid to Lebanon but political pressure required to end Israeli bombardment

20 July, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has this morning welcomed an EU pledge of 10 million Euros to aid Lebanese civilians. Ms McDonald, whilst welcoming EU financial support, said that ‘only by bringing political pressure to bear on Israel would the EU have any long term effect’.


Speaking today Ms McDonald said:


“10 million euros in direct aid assistance to the Lebanese people is both a welcome and much needed development at the present time. However, further financial assistance must be forthcoming given that the Israeli Army is intent upon destroying much of Beiruit. The unrelenting bombing campaign in Lebanon is taking its toll upon both the civilian population and infrastructure.


“Whilst financial aid may begin to relieve the short term suffering for the Lebanese, the European Union must move to exert political pressure and tell Israel in the strongest possible terms that it is opposed to the collective punishments of both Lebanon and Palestine.


“It is ironic that as financial aid is announced for Lebanon, the European Union has temporarily suspended aid for Palestine. This is both unacceptable and unwise given that a humanitarian crisis has been predicted in Palestine for a number of months now with aid agencies reporting food and medical shortages. Both of these countries require sustained financial aid packages to ensure that human catastrophes are avoided.


“The Irish Government has an important role to play in all of this. It must make clear to the Israeli Ambassador that Ireland demands an end to its disproportionate acts of aggression.” ENDS

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