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Ó Snodaigh slams Oireachtas ostriches

12 September, 2006


Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has slammed the 'Oireachtas Ostriches' on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, after his motion calling for suspension of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement due to Israel's human rights violations failed to get support. He went on to admit to being deeply disappointed at the decision, which he suggested was tantamount to giving 'a blank cheque to human rights violators'.

The Dublin South-Central TD said: "The decision by members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs to refuse to back Sinn Féin's motion calling for suspension of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement this morning, is a demonstration of solidarity by those Committee members with the human rights violators of the Israeli regime.

"Members of the Committee might believe that if they stick their heads in the sand like ostriches that the illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine will magically evaporate overnight. It will not. Statements by a number of Committee members that the situation has moved on from when Sinn Féin first proposed the motion in July, ignores the fact that the plight of the Palestinian people has not improved one iota and that Israel continues to occupy parts of southern Lebanon.

"According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which I strongly recommend to Committee members, human rights violations continue in occupied Palestinian territory. In their most recent weekly log of 31st August to 6th September, 11 Palestinians, including a child, and a father and son, were killed by Israeli forces. Five extra-judicial executions were carried out in Rafah and Jenin. Sixty-seven civilians, including 16 children and two paramedics, were injured by Israeli gunfire and 16 homes were destroyed or occupied. And this is in one seven-day period.

"I am deeply disappointed at the failure of Committee members to display an ounce of courage, to take a stand against the Israeli regime's criminal activities and to demand that EU trade agreements must not give a blank cheque to human rights violators."

CRÍOCH

Note to editors: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' weekly log of human rights violations by Israeli occupying forces can be found at www.pchrgaza.org

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