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15 January 2009 Edition

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Ó Snodaigh confronts Israeli Ambassador at Oireachtas Committee meeting

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

SPEAKING at the meeting of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, 13 January, at which the Palestinian Delegate General to Ireland, Dr Hikmat Ajuri and Israeli ambassador Dr Zion Evrony appeared, Sinn Féin International Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said if an immediate ceasefire is not called the Committee should recommend to the Government that it seeks a suspension of the EU agreement which underpins preferential trade with Israel.
Ó Snodaigh also said that he has footage of Israeli forces shooting at Palestinian fishermen before the end of the ceasefire agreement.
He said: “The Israeli representative continues to assert that it was Hamas that broke the ceasefire by firing rockets into Israel but I was in Gaza ahead of the latest Israeli offensive and I seen the evidence of continued Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people living there and their infrastructure. I have seen bombed-out power plant in Gaza City, which left two thirds of the people without electricity.
“I have seen footage, and I have the footage for anyone who wants it, of Israeli forces shooting at Palestinian fishermen as they go about their business.
He added that he had also seen the apartheid wall, a term which he said Fine Gael Deputy Alan Shatter, a member of the Oireachtas Committee, had taken offence to.
“But it is an apartheid wall, it is a land grab and it is illegal”, Ó Snodaigh said.
The Sinn Féin TD said he was not one who had called for the expulsion from Ireland of the Israeli Ambassador, because, “I am not one for censorship and believe in giving people a chance to explain themselves. But based on the Israeli Ambassador’s contribution today I am very disappointed and may re-look at my position.
“If Israel does not agree to the calls of the international community for an immediate ceasefire then this committee should recommend to the Government that it seeks a suspension of the EU agreement which underpins preferential trade with Israel.”
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