Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Israeli kidnap of Ballina man an act of state terrorism and International piracy

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has described as an act of “international piracy” the kidnapping in International waters of Mayo man Derek Graham and the seizure of their boat by the Israeli navy. He has also called on the Fianna Fáil led administration to immediately expel the Israeli ambassador, cut all diplomatic links with Israel and initiate moves for the European Union (EU) to do likwise.

Mr Graham was one of twenty one Human Rights workers, including two Irish citizens, who was on board the Free Gaza boat 'Spirit of Humanity' when it was attacked and seized by the Israeli navy today (Tuesday 30/6/09). Among those kidnapped along with Mr Graham, the ship’s first mate, is a former US congressperson Cynthia McKinney and former Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire.. The boat was making its way to Gaza to deliver much needed aid to the long suffering civilian population of Gaza who continue to suffer under the illegal and inhumane Israeli siege. These supplies, which include medicine, toys, olive trees and cement, have been confiscated.

Casey said: “The kidnapping of Derek Graham and his colleagues and the seizure of their boat and essential supplies they had on board to be delivered to the people of Gaza, is an act of state terrorism and international piracy and must be treated by the Fianna Fáil led administration as such. They must act immediately to expel the Israeli ambassador, cut all diplomatic ties with Israel and initiate moves for the EU to do likewise. They must also insist on Mr Graham and his colleagues immediate release, the release of the boat and its supplies to allow it continue its journey and the lifting of the illegal siege of Gaza.”

He added: “This siege, the effects of which Derek and his colleagues were trying to alleviate with their shipment, continues as the civilian population increasingly struggle to get food and essential medicines to survive. The suffering these people are enduring is unimaginable, particularly for children and the elderly. The Israeli military continue bombing the area, obliterating the remnants of an already destroyed economy and infrastructure. During their recent invasion of Gaza, Israel committed countless war crimes, deliberately bombing civilian targets, killing more than a thousand Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of young children. That this situation is allowed to continue unimpeded by the so-called International Community is scandalous.”

He concluded: “The record of successive Leinster House administrations, and of the EU, in dealing with the state terrorism of Israel is woeful. Following the murderous assault of Gaza by Israel at the start of this year, they failed to take any action against Israel. However, following this latest act of state terrorism and International piracy, including the kidnapping of Irish citizens, they must now take a firm stand against the rogue state of Israel. Anything less would be shameful.”

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