[Sinn Fein]

3rd April 2002

Israel must end siege of Ramallah and Arafat

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has called on Israel to end their siege of Ramallah and Yasser Arafat's headquarters.

Mr. Adams said:

"People throughout the world have watched with deep concern as the Israeli Army again violated Palestinian sovereignty by entering Ramallah and storming Yasser Arafat's headquarters.

"The daily violence in the Middle East is making the task of building a sustainable peace in that region all the more difficult. Ariel Sharon's time in power has been marked by repressive actions. The suicide attacks against Israeli civilians are reprehensible and we call for them to end but so too is the invasion by Israel of Palestinian territory, the attacks against Palestinians and their homes and the deliberate targeting of Palestinian leaders. This must stop and the International Community must intervene to achieve this.

"I welcome the emergency resolution from the UN Security Council calling for a meaningful bi-lateral ceasefire and for the Israelis to withdraw from Palestinian territories. Calm voices need to be heard at this time. If both nations are to avoid further suffering, there needs to be a swift return to the historic compromise between Peres and Arafat marked by the Oslo Agreement."

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