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Irish foreign minister visits Gaza Strip
Published Saturday 28/01/2012 (updated) 29/01/2012 19:34
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Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore
(MaanImages/HO)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore visited the Gaza Strip on Friday, where he slammed Israel's blockade on the coastal enclave.

Gilmore, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, told reporters: "Ireland is completely opposed to the blockade ... It is clearly having a devastating impact on the local economy."

"The blockade should be ended soon in order to allow the local economy to grow, and ensure that people who live in Gaza can exercise their human rights: freedom of movement and travel."

Gilmore met with officials from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and civil society representatives in the Gaza Strip, in the first leg of a three-day visit to Israel and Palestine.

His spokesman Philip Grant said earlier that the Irish foreign minister wanted to see the impact of the embargo firsthand, according to official PA news agency Wafa.

The brief visit comes nearly three months after Israeli forces blocked an Irish-flagged vessel carrying 15 activists, among them an Irish member of the European Parliament, from reaching Gaza in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade.

The move sparked tensions with Dublin, which has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the Israeli land and sea blockade imposed in 2006, and tightened a year later when Hamas seized control of the territory.

"The flotilla is a voluntary activity by individuals and organizations and they obviously launch them in response to the blockade,” Gilmore said.
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1 ) Maureen / Australia
28/01/2012 10:43
I love you, Ireland!

2 ) Amin / The Netherlands
28/01/2012 11:29
Thank you Ireland, my respect for you is growing!

3 ) Philly / Sweden
28/01/2012 13:48
We love you Ireland! I'll be spending my summerholiday money in Ireland! :)

4 ) carine / UK
28/01/2012 15:40
At last, someone with the guts to say it as it is. Respect to this man. Now I wonder, will he get the "low chair" treatment from Ayalon & co?

5 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
28/01/2012 15:43
Thank you for these words - how to make the end to the blockade happen ?!

6 ) Mel / Gaza
28/01/2012 16:01
Than you Eire. We're proud of you once again!

7 ) Mel / USA
28/01/2012 16:49
Top O' the mornin' Eamon! Good 4 U! Eire resisted the same bigotted,racist oppression,for centuries & WON,by courage& dignity.But,Ireland(EU)needs to present a formal COMPLAINT OF D.C. TOO, which is our US version of an occupying Absolutist regime,neither representing democracy NOR we the people.To the point where we've gone back to pre-US War of Independence,to colonial/merchant rule by D.C. plutocrats now,w/out whom Israel couldn't BE SO brutally Zionist on Palestine,for 64 yrs! Bravo Eamon!

8 ) Ren? / Dominican Republic
28/01/2012 17:18
Irelande...un pays ? l'avant-garde de la justice, qui dit tout haut ce que les autres pensent tout bas, et qui passe de la parole aux actes...Bravo Irelande !

9 ) Rene / Dominican Republic
28/01/2012 17:28
Irlande, un pays a l'avant-garde de la justice, qui ose dire tout haut ce que les autres pensent tout bas et qui passe de la parole aux actes...Bravo Irlande !

10 ) Judo / Canada
28/01/2012 22:47
Does this Irish guy think we are all idiots to fall for this silly propaganda? The Egyptian border is where the real blockade is, not the Israeli border. It is Egypt, not Israel, preventing all imports and exports from Gaza to Egypt. El Arish modern shipping cargo port and cargo airport are just a few minutes drive south of Gaza over the Egyptian border and would give the Gazan economy access to markets across all Europe and the Arab world, but Egypt completely bans Gaza access, not Israel.

11 ) Goori / Occupied Australia
28/01/2012 23:49
@1: if you love Ireland so much, why don't you and the rest of the illegal colonialist Irish settlers and land stealers in Occupied Australia go back home to Ireland.

12 ) silver / phil
29/01/2012 03:15
thank you eire for resisting racism and bigotry in palestine. i hope us, uk, france, germany and nederland follow your footstep. ireland we love you

13 ) Miss Costello / uk
29/01/2012 11:57
10) Judo- not a cluedo.

"Does this Irish guy think we are all idiots" -Err, yes.

14 ) EE / UK
29/01/2012 16:05
Ireland is broke and bankrupt. This guy is promising aid to palestinins coming not from Irish pocket, but from American and German. What a jerk.

15 ) SEAN / CANADA
29/01/2012 17:39
What a joke, 2 entrances to gaza 1 from Israel the other from Egypt where is the condemnation in regards to Egypt, you bunch of hypocrites, Israel is going nowhere get used to it and stop consistently calling for their destruction, but then again the Irish always were closer to being terrorists themselves, pathetic.

16 ) Philip / Ireland
29/01/2012 17:57
Judo/Canada... your knowledge of the situation vis a vis the Gaza blockade is pitiful. If you knew anything about the Rafah Border Crossing, you would be aware that Israel imposes a veto on movements into and out of the Gaza Strip via Rafah under the terms of the Agreement on Access and Movement [AMA]. If you don't know what this is, do a bit of honest research, and revise your contribution.

17 ) Ooo how "brave" of him lol / Canada
29/01/2012 18:05
Omg I think he really takes us for idiots sensational propaganda lol Palestinians can have peace but they choose not too and ask the world for pity how sad and obvious!!

18 ) Mel / USA
29/01/2012 18:27
315:Sean/Canada:That's ironic coming from a Celtic name in old French Colonial/Commonwealth?Ask Ur own Celtic ancestors WHY they came 2 USA/Canada?Not coz they were "terrorists" Sean/Sion O'Who. But,coz they were occupied by&resisting Royalist colonialists,much like Zionist colonialism in Palestine,D.C.,New York etc.Yes!Egypt's mafia makes money on Israel's blockade on Palestine.It's called (mis)'appropriations'/bribery,given annually(like Jordan,Saudi,Libya etc)to ignore Israel/US war crimes.

19 ) Judo / Canada
29/01/2012 20:51
Corrupt Egyptian officials in Sinai, Bedouin smugglers, and the Hamas government all profit 100s of millions of dollars a year off the Egypt--Gaza tunnel smuggling trade. If the blockade from Israel and Egypt were fully lifted the smuggling tunnels would close and the massive smuggling profits stop. So it is in all these groups financial interest to keep Gaza blockaded. Too bad for the people of Gaza they have to suffer just so these groups can make vast amounts of money smuggling into Gaza.

20 ) carine / UK
29/01/2012 22:12
#15 Why condemn Egypt? Egypt must obtain permission from Israel to allow anything through from Gaza, just as all Palestinians must obtain permission from Israel just to breath the same air as them!

21 ) ian / australia
29/01/2012 23:29
#1 Hey Maureen, check out #11, a peevish post from Goori [?] / Occupied Australia! Shlomo / Brooklyn would be my bet but a little local knowledge test would clarify things pretty quickly...maybe something about Molly and that awful pre-Christmas accident. It was so sad, wasn't it Goori, what happened to her. Don't you think?

22 ) murat / usa
30/01/2012 00:26
Irish people were always brave

23 ) Judo / Canada
30/01/2012 04:13
Philip: You really think Israel would go to war with Egypt and throw away the peace treaty just cause Egypt let the Gazans export a few tomatoes through Egyptian ports? LOL. Israel would be very happy if Egypt dropped the Gaza blockade as Israel legally would no longer have any humanitarian responsibility for Gaza and Egypt would have to provide electricity, water, security etc. for Gaza as it did before 1967 under Egyptian occupation of Gaza. This would be Israel's greatest dream come true.

24 ) Philip / Ireland
30/01/2012 12:43
Judo/Canada .... have you no brains? The blockade is imposed by Israel.... everybody [ except you it seem ] knows that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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