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Ireland warns Israel against attacking second Gaza flotilla

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, June 24, IRNA -- Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore has warned Israel against any repeat of last year's massacre of nine human rights activists aboard the Gaza Freedom flotilla when the second convoy of 10 boats sets sail this weekend.

“Israel must exercise all possible restraint and avoid any use of military force if attempting to uphold their naval blockade,” said Gilmore, who also holds the post of deputy prime minister.

“In particular, I would expect that any interception of ships is conducted in a peaceful manner and does not endanger the safety of our citizens or other participants,” he said after holding talks with Israeli Ambassador to Dublin Boaz Moda on Thursday.

He reiterated that Israel's four-year siege of Gaza was “unjust and counterproductive”, warning against a repetition of last year's attack which he described as “completely unacceptable and unjustified”.

The warning comes after Gilmore was urged by Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) to seek safe passage for the second flotilla, which includes Irish boat MV Saoirse.

“It is our belief that the member states of the European Union, including Ireland, have failed in their responsibility towards the protected people of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and in particular towards the people of Gaza,” said IPSC chair Freda Hughes.

Some 25 Irish participants, including former Fianna Fáil MP Chris Andrews, Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy, Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlain, Siptu trade union official Mags O’Brien and former Irish rugby international Trevor Hogan are among the passengers on the Saoirse.

They are being joined by ships from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Canada, the United States, Germany/Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands carrying medical supplies and other essential equipment in the latest attempt to break the siege.

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