[A-List] The Taoiseach has said there will be 'serious consequences' if any harm comes to the Irish citizens being detained in Israel for their part in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Tue Jun 1 14:29:36 MDT 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010 20:46
The Taoiseach has said there will be 'serious consequences' if any harm
comes to the Irish citizens being detained in Israel for their part in the
Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
UN criticises attack on flotilla
Speaking in the Dáil, Brian Cowen said the Government is calling for the
immediate and unconditional release of the Irish citizens.
Two Irish citizens are to be deported after Israeli commandos stormed a ship
carrying aid supplies to Gaza. At least nine people died in the operation.
Shane Dillon is to be flown home via Frankfurt on a Lufthansa flight. It is
not yet confirmed whether the second Irish citizen, Isam Ben Ali, will be on
the same flight.
At least five other Irish citizens, including Fintan Lane and Fiachra
O'Luain, are still being detained in the southern Israeli city of Be'er
It was reported earlier that an Irish citizen has left the country
Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has said that Irish Ambassador
to Israel Breifne O'Reilly has visited the detained Irish citizens.
The Government earlier called on Israel to allow the Irish-owned vessel MV
Rachel Corrie to complete its humanitarian voyage to Gaza peacefully.
The decision was taken following a briefing by Minister Martin.
The Government said the vessel should not be impeded on its journey and
should be allowed to discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza. It is
currently north of the coast of Libya.
Denis Halliday, a former UN Assistant General Secretary who is on board the
Rachel Corrie, said it was up to the US to put pressure on Israel to ensure
such attacks are not repeated.
It had been reported earlier that Israel's navy is ready to stop the vessel,
which is expected to reach Gazan waters tomorrow.
An officer told Israel army radio that he expected an easy takeover of the
This morning, Mr Martin reiterated his call for the immediate and
unconditional release of the Irish citizens.
In a statement, Mr Martin said: 'I met the Israeli Ambassador last evening
and made clear that the Irish Government expects the immediate and
unconditional release of all the Irish citizens detained.
'The seven individuals concerned did not enter Israel illegally; rather they
were essentially seized from international waters, taken into Israel and
asked to sign documents confirming that they entered illegally. This is
simply not acceptable.'
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny described the Israeli operation as an outrageous
operation in international waters and said the lives of Irish citizens were
put in mortal danger.
Labour leader Eamon Gilmore asked if the Government had considered
withdrawing the Irish ambassador in Israel, but Mr Cowen did not directly
answer the question.
Deputy Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Ruth Zack defended Israel's actions
under international maritime law.
She also said that the Irish detainees who are contesting their deportation
should leave Israel voluntarily.
Irish registered MV Rachel Corrie still hopes to reach Gaza with building
and education supplies
Story from RTÉ News:
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