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Palestinian plight must not be forgotten in Middle-East crisis - Ó Snodaigh

4 August, 2006

Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government to double its humanitarian aid to Palestine. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said while the world's gaze is on Isreal's atrocities in Lebanon ordinary Palestinians are also suffering daily attacks and bloodshed.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "While the world's gaze has been on the atrocities suffered by the Lebanese at the hands of the Isreal we must not forget that ordinary Palestinians are suffering the same faith in the Gaza strip. Only today three Palestinians were killed in Isreali air strikes on Gaza bringing the total number of Palestinian dead in this current crisis to 163. A three year old girl was also killed when she was dropped from her mothers arms while she was fleeing from Isreali troops in a Palestinian village near Rafah today.

"Innocent Palestinians are dying on a daily basis, thousands have fled their homes and what little infrastructure they had is falling down around them. This is a huge humanitarian crisis and the least the Irish Government can do is to at a minimum double the humanitarian aid currently being sent from Ireland to Palestine. This aid should go directly to the Palestinian authority as they know best were it needs to be deployed.

"The Taoiseach must get his head around this crisis. While he was stating his inability to understand the situation in the middle-east at the races in Galway this week other deputies and senators met in Committee in Leinster House to engage in a meaningful and informed discussion. This resulted in cross-party support for a series of demands including: an immediate ceasefire; the withdrawal of Isreali troops; and the implementation of economic sanctions against Israel as provided by Article 2 of the Europe-Mediterranean Association Agreement.

"It is now time for the Taoiseach to stop issuing 'mind boggling' statements from his tent in the Galway races and to start taking all the steps in his power to bring a halt to Israeli aggression, expansion and occupation." ENDS

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