Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Press Release

23 Sep 2010
IPSC: Irish Government must act on findings of UN HRC Report into Israel's Flotilla attack
The IPSC document, ‘The findings of the UN Human Rights Council Inquiry into Israel’s Flotilla attack: An illegal blockade, an illegal attack, unlawful executions and use of “extreme” and “unnecessary” violence against passengers’, can be accessed online here: http://www.ipsc.ie/pdf/IPSC_Briefing_Doc_23-09-2010_UNCHR_Flotilla_Report.pdf

IPSC: Irish Government must act on findings of UN HRC Report into Israel's Flotilla attack

Report declares blockade of Gaza and flotilla attack illegal, finds unlawful executions and use of “extreme” and “unnecessary” violence against passengers

Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Press Release, Thursday 23rd September 2010, 5.10pm

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) today welcomed the findings of the UN Human Rights Council investigation into Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and called for the Irish Government to take action to sanction Israel over its illegal raid. The report found that Israel’s siege of Gaza is illegal and therefore the assault on the flotilla, which left nine people dead, was also illegal. Its findings also made clear that Israeli forces had unlawfully executed at least six people at sea, and used “extreme” and “unnecessary” violence against people – including Irish nationals - both at sea and in captivity.

The nine murdered members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
The nine murdered members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

The UN report – for which four Irish flotilla participants were interviewed - also found "clear evidence to support prosecutions" against Israel for “wilful killing”, “torture or inhuman treatment” and “wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”, and makes it clear that Israel violated raft of international humanitarian and human rights laws.

IPSC National Chairperson Freda Hughes said: “The UN report is a landmark and it vindicates the position of those who participated in the Flotilla and the comments of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in discourses on the events at the time. Israel once again stands condemned by a UN inquiry, and meaningful action must be taken”.

Ms Hughes continued: “The IPSC has consistently welcomed the Irish Government’s statements condemning Israeli breaches of international law and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. We have also always argued for the Government to take sanction the rogue state of Israel for these crimes. If Ireland were to implement sanctions it would serve as a wake-up call to Israel, showing that it cannot continue to commit human rights abuses, flaunt international legal norms and ignore UN Resolutions with complete impunity. Such a stance by Ireland would be a monumental setting of a precedent within the European Union and would represent an extremely positive development.”

Ms Hughes concluded: “As the Report outlines abuses and “extreme” and “unnecessary violence” perpetrated against Irish nationals, it is all the more incumbent on the Irish Government to act on the words of An Taoiseach Brian Cowen when he stated on in June that “if any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences”. It is time for Israel to feel those consequences.”

The IPSC has submitted a document[1] to all elected Irish representatives calling on the Irish Government to:

• Fully support any legal proceedings against those involved in the illegal attack on the Flotilla initiated by any of the Irish nationals on board.

• Cease all Irish arms purchases from Israeli companies and cancel those that have not yet been fully processed.

• Push at European Union level for Israel’s suspension from the Euro-Med Agreement which grants Israel preferential trading status with the EU. Israel is flagrantly in breach of its human rights obligations under Article 2 of that agreement.[2]

• Expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, and recall the Irish Ambassador from Tel Aviv.

• Fully support the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign and the sending of another Irish ship to participate in the Second Freedom Flotilla in October 2010.


Notes

[1] The IPSC document, ‘The findings of the UN Human Rights Council Inquiry into Israel’s Flotilla attack: An illegal blockade, an illegal attack, unlawful executions and use of “extreme” and “unnecessary” violence against passengers’, can be accessed online here: http://www.ipsc.ie/pdf/IPSC_Briefing_Doc_23-09-2010_UNCHR_Flotilla_Report.pdf . The full UN Report can be read here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/15session/A.HRC.15.21_en.pdf

[2] It is regularly argued that Ireland cannot “go it alone” on this issue. However the fact that Ireland, standing alone, could put a temporary halt the recent EU data-sharing with Israel process shows that Ireland can persuade Europe to listen to concerns about Israel’s actions and that should Ireland seek the suspension of the Euro-Med agreement it could at the very least generate a far-reaching debate on the EU’s relationship to Israel.

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