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MacManus calls for Government Action on Gaza Carnage.  (Jan 11th 2009)

Sinn Fein Councillor Sean MacManus has sought the support of his County Council colleagues in obtaining government diplomatic action on the Israeli slaughter in Gaza.

Councillor MacManus has tabled a proposal to Sligo Co. Council calling on the Irish government to demand from the Israeli authorities an immediate ending of their attacks on Gaza and the complete withdrawal of their forces from Palestinian lands as previously agreed in numerous UN resolutions.

Cllr. MacManus proposal also asks that the government initiate moves at EU level seeking a suspension of the European-Mediterranean Association Agreement which underpins preferential trade with Israel.

Putting forward his proposal Cllr. MacManus said;

“We have all watched with disbelief and growing anger the terrible events which have unfolded over the past two weeks in Gaza, events which have seen forces of the Israeli government first bombard from the air and then use ground forces to attack the civilian population and infrastructure of Gaza. Israel claims that this inhuman assault has been directed against Hamas—the legitimate government of Gaza—but the world clearly now knows that to be a lie. The death-toll from this onslaught is now over 800 Palestinian people, with by far the highest amount being civilians, many of whom are children, women and old people.

This is nothing short of an international disgrace. Israel again stands indicted of mass killing of innocent Palestinians while the world is expected to remain silent so as not to offend Zionist sensitivities. It is long past time that we speak out against this blatant Israeli disregard for human life and international law.

In August 2005 Israel pulled its forces out of Gaza but at the same time retained its grip on all the border crossings, thus controlling who and what gets in or out.The result of this economic stranglehold on Gaza has been to make this Palestinian area a virtual prison for its inhabitants. Israel has total control over virtually everything and everyone entering Gaza. This has led to an economic boycott of the area with serious shortages of food, drinking water, fuel, medicine and other basis human necessities. Then in November 4th Israel launched a raid into Gaza killing six Palestinians in a successful attempt to provoke Hamas to end the ceasefire which had existed for a number of months.

We all recognise the right of any country to defend its citizens and its borders, however nothing justifies the mass murder of hundreds of innocent civilians and the terrorisation of the entire one and a half million people of Gaza. Yes Israel needs security, almost twenty Israeli’s killed around Gaza over the past ten years is twenty too many. However over 700 Palestinians slaughtered in 10 days by Israel is in a totally different league.

This Council must express our abhorrence at what is happening in Gaza. We must also ask our government to call on Israel to immediately end its brutal attack on Gaza and to withdraw its forces from Palestinian lands. Furthermore, international pressure must immediately be exerted on Israel, this can be initiated by the Irish government moving at EU level to seek a suspension of the preferential trading agreement between the EU and Israel. This trade agreement between the EU and Israel is dependent on Israel's respect for human rights. Israel by its actions in Gaza is once again in breach of this agreement.

We must urge Israel to accept that progress toward a peaceful agreement can only be made by ending its military hostilities against Gaza and by showing a willingness to speak to all combatant groups Israel’s ferocious attack on Gaza will not contribute in any way to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the region. The Irish Government needs to show leadership and Micheál Martin should immediately  propose  this  approach  at  EU  level   ceasefire.” ENDS

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