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Cabinet must consider ending preferential trade with Israel

30 August, 2006


Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has urged the cabinet to consider suspending the preferential trade agreement with Israel when they meet today to discuss sending troops to Lebanon. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said while some progress has been made in the conflict in Lebanon, no progress whatsoever has been made towards ending Israel's continued human rights abuses in Palestine.

He said, "The Government must use all of its influence to end Israel's human rights abuses in both Lebanon and Palestine. While some progress has been made in Lebanon, no progress has been made whatsoever towards ending Israel's continued human rights abuses in Palestine. Just today Israeli forces killed five Palestinians including two civilians.

"When the cabinet meets today they must take into consideration suspending the preferential trade agreement with Israel in light of its blatant human rights abuses in Lebanon and Palestine. The Irish Ambassador to the UN must also be instructed to use his influence within the UN to push for an immediate withdrawal of Israel from Palestine which it illegally occupies.

"Israel's refusal to lift the air and sea blockade of Lebanon after being asked by UN secretary general Kofi Annan to do so is unacceptable. It is an example of that rogue nation's incredible arrogance. This arrogance, and the human rights abuses that go with it, will continue until such time when international pressure is brought to bare on Israel. The Irish Government has a role to play in this and it is high time they stepped up to the mark." ENDS

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