IRISH SHIP TO GAZA CALLS ON THE IRISH GOVERNMENT TO TAKE CONCRETE ACTION AGAINST ISRAEL
Press release: Following the events of yesterday, and the continuing refusal of the Israeli government to comply with international law, the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign is now calling on the Irish government to take the following concrete actions against the state of Israel:
(1) Suspend Israel from the Euromed Agreement, which gives Israel special trading status;
(2) End all arms trade with Israel;
(3) Take steps to ensure that no Irish state-funded institution engages in any cultural, academic, or economic cooperation with the state of Israel or its associated institutions; and
(4) Cease all grants to Israel made under the EU’s framework programme for research
The Irish Ship to Gaza land team has had no contact with the passengers and crew of the MV Saoirse since it was hijacked yesterday, apart from a single text message that came from Trevor Hogan’s mobile phone. Once communication with the boat was lost, the only information available about the hijacking and abduction of the boat’s passengers has been released by the Israeli government and military.
Irish Ship to Gaza has sought information about the MV Saoirse passengers from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, and learned that the passengers were asked to sign deportation papers testifying that they entered Israel illegally. Because the passengers were brought into Israel against their will, they have refused to sign those papers.
Claudia Saba, a spokesperson for Irish Ship to Gaza, commented:
“Once again, as with the Flotilla of June 2010, Israel has managed to gain a monopoly on the narrative of what happened when the Gaza-bound boats were hijacked by Israel at sea.”
“The footage released by Israel of the boarding of the boats is vague and lacking in detail. Since we have no direct contact with our fellow citizens, and since they are not allowed to communicate with the outside world, we do not know exactly what happened or how those aboard were treated.”
Laurence Davis, a coordinator of the campaign, added:
“We have information from our Canadian counterparts that at least some of those aboard the Canadian boat were beaten. Concrete action must now be taken to express the justifiable outrage of the international community.”
Photos of the MV Saoirse before it left Turkey on Wednesday can be downloaded here: