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Sinn Féin welcomes proposed Irish deployment to Lebanon

14 September, 2006

Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has expressed his party’s support, in principle, for the government’s decision to deploy 150 troops to Lebanon. While acknowledging legitimate questions about the specific role of the Irish troops exist, he pointed out that protecting people engaged in rebuilding Lebanon from possible attack ‘especially from Israeli forces with a track record of targeted fatal attacks on UN personnel and positions, is vital.’


The Dublin South-Central TD said: “While there are legitimate questions to be asked over whether the best use of the skilled and experienced peacekeepers in the Defence Forces, including no doubt some veterans of previous deployments to Lebanon, is as bodyguards for troops from another country, Sinn Féin in principle welcomes the decision to deploy Irish forces. We look forward to discussing it further when the Dáil resumes.


“The rebuilding of Lebanon after the devastation of Israel’s brutal assault is a major task of work. Israeli forces have acknowledged they deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure such as roads, bridges and energy networks. According to the Lebanese government’s preliminary damage assessment report, Israeli forces caused extensive damage to over 700 industrial enterprises. Indirect and direct damage to industry and business sectors has been widespread with direct damage estimated by the Lebanese to be about $220 million in the south alone.


“Protecting Finnish troops engaged in this work from possible attack, especially from Israeli forces with a track record of fatal targeted attacks on UN personnel and positions, is vital to ensure this work can go ahead.”

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