[Sinn Fein]

8th April 2002

Government should call for EU trade sanctions against Israel

Sinn Fein TD for Cavan Monaghan Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said the Irish government should call for EU trade sanctions against Israel in protest at their ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories and siege of Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``Continuing attacks by Israel against the Palestinian Authority and it's people must not be allowed to continue. If this situation was occurring anywhere else in the world, trade sanctions would already have been imposed and we would have seen an immediate arms embargo.

``As a state with a distinguished record in peace keeping in the region it is imperative that the Irish government uses whatever influence it has in the EU and internationally to try and bring an immediate end to the occupation of Palestinian territories.

``I am calling on the government to call for EU trade sanctions to send a very clear signal to the Israeli government that their activities are unacceptable to the international community.

``The EU has already played a leading role in supporting the legitimacy of the Palestinian state, they should follow up on this commitment with the imposition of economic sanctions against Israel.''

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