Ireland must end arms trade with Israel – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on Irish Defence Minister Simon Coveney to publicly pledge that he will not sign any military contracts with Israeli companies.

Ms Anderson, the chair of the European Union’s Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, said;

“Simon Coveney has announced he will visit the Middle East this week and that will include a visit to Israel.

“He has said the purpose is to visit members of the Irish Defence Forces stationed in the region.

“I am calling on the minister to publicly state the Irish government will end its practise of buying military equipment from Israeli firms and that it will not sign any new contracts.

“Since 2011 the Irish government has paid almost €3 million for military equipment to an Israeli firm which provides equipment for the apartheid wall around the occupied West Bank.

“This practice must end.

“I am also concerned that Simon Coveney has no plans to meet with Palestinian leaders during his visit to the region.

“That stands in stark contrast with Gerry Adams’ visit to the Middle East this week during which he will meet both Palestinian and Israeli political leaders.

“Simon Coveney should also be seeking to visit Gaza to see the devastation wrought by the Israeli bombardment at first hand.

“I would urge the minister to change his schedule to include a visit to Palestine to demonstrate Ireland’s support for a two-state solution.”