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EU should get tough on Israel over war crimes

The UN report into Israel's massacre of unarmed humanitarian activists bringing aid to Gaza found that the attack was illegal and a violation of International law that displayed an "unacceptable level of brutality".

The report determined that there was clear evidence to support prosecutions for the following crimes that violated the Fourth Geneva Convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; and wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

It also made clear that the continuing siege of Gaza was causing a humanitarian crisis and was illegal.

The ongoing repression, human rights abuses and war crimes inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian people is outrageous, as is the failure of the so-called international community, including Ireland the EU, to protect the Palestinian people and take action against Israel for their crimes.

In spite of the war crimes outlined in the Goldstone report, Ireland and the EU have rewarded Israel with special trading status and OECD membership.

It's almost four months since the slaughter took place, yet we are still waiting to see the "serious consequences" that Taoiseach Brian Cowen told us Israel would suffer after harming Irish citizens. In the wake of this latest report, it's time the EU shut down Israeli embassies, expelled them from the OECD and revoked all trade agreements with them.

Failure to do so makes the EU wilfully complicit in bankrolling Israeli human rights abuses and war crimes.

GERRY CASEY

Co Sligo

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