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EU must end preferential trade agreement with Israel in light of continued human rights abuses

2 August, 2006


Sinn Féin Human Rights and International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said there must be an end to the myth that the crisis in Lebanon and Gaza is the result of provocation from the Lebanese and Palestinians. Deputy Ó Snodaigh will today call on the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee to support an end to the EU -- Israel preferential trade agreement in light of Israel's continued human rights abuses in both Lebanon and Palestine.

He said, "Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern should have demanded that the EU call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and Gaza despite pressure from Britain to water down its statement yesterday. However, his willingness to accept and welcome whatever the British say comes as no surprise to me.

"There must be an end to the myth, peddled by both the British and Americans, that the current crisis in Lebanon and Gaza is the result of provocation from the Palestinians and the Lebanese. The reality is that the capture of Israeli soldiers was the result of continued Israeli aggression, expansion and occupation, and the continued detention of Lebanese prisoners by the Israelis six years after the end of the war.

"In light of the continued human rights abuses by Israel in both Lebanon and Gaza I will today call on the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee to support the end of the EU -- Israel preferential trade agreement. I am also calling on Dermot Ahern to toughen his stance and to go to the Americans and the British and to push them to call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and Gaza. The Irish ambassador to the UN must also use his influence to encourage the UN to exert pressure on Israel.

"There must also be a doubling of Irish aid to Palestine and this must go directly to the Palestinian authorities." ENDS

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