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28 October 2004 Edition

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International pressure urged against Israel

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh on Wednesday called on the Dublin Government to propose the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which allows for preferential trade between the European Union and Israel.

Ó Snodaigh also argued that under present circumstances there should be no extension of an "everything but institutions" deal to Israel under the European Neighbourhood Policy, which would grant Israel free trade, the freedom to move and work across the EU, and all the benefits of EU membership except voting rights and representation in the EU Parliament and on the Commission. This, he said, would "send the wrong signal to a persistent violator of human rights and international law".

Stand up and be counted

Speaking on a Sinn Féin motion to the European Affairs Committee, Ó Snodaigh said "there comes a time to speak out against injustice, to stand up and be counted. When it came time to speak out strongly against Apartheid South Africa, to depart from the international comfort zone and call for sanctions against an egregious and persistent human rights violator that consistently ignored the will of the international community, Ireland stood up. Such a time has now come to support a similar call in relation to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Ireland should lead the way."

The Sinn Féin motion supports the suspension of preferential trade until such time as there has been a significant and measurable improvement in compliance with international human rights standards by Israel and specifically until there is compliance with the International Court of Justice ruling and UN General Assembly resolution on the separation wall.

"Israel is engaged in horrific crimes against humanity. Israel stands in violation of more UN resolutions than any other nation. It does not deserve to be rewarded with preferential trade," said Ó Snodaigh.

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