“EU must ensure safety of Irish peacekeepers under fire from Israel” – Matt Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has slammed the Israeli government for putting the lives of hundreds of Irish peacekeepers at risk over the weekend by launching bomb attacks in southern Lebanon, and demanded the EU take action to ensure the safety of its citizens.
Carthy, MEP for the Midlands North West, said: “In recent weeks, the Israel Defence Force has launched unprovoked air strikes against positions in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
“On September 1, an Irish battalion of 450 peacekeeping troops came under Israeli mortar fire for several hours when the IDF fired around 100 bombs on sites near the Lebanese town of Maroun al-Ras. The battalion is part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission, authorised by the UN Security Council, and includes 10 peacekeepers from Malta.
“The hundreds of Irish peacekeepers come from across 29 counties, including many deployed from Finner Camp in Donegal.
“The Israeli government has not only launched illegal airstrikes against three sovereign states, but has directly endangered the lives of hundreds of EU peacekeepers operating under the auspices of the UN.
“I have written to the European Commission demanding an appropriate response to Israel for putting the lives of EU citizens at serious risk by its illegal aggression.
“The Commission must act swiftly to ensure safety of peacekeeping troops from EU member states from Israeli fire in Lebanon. The EU should suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until it complies with all relevant international laws, including the international laws of war that provide protections for civilians and UN peacekeeping forces. Israeli membership of the Euromed agreement should also be suspended on this basis.” ENDS