In light of the recent deadly attack on a humanitarian aid convoy by Israeli commandos and the use of forged Irish passports by Israeli assassins to facilitate the murder a Palestinian man in Dubai, Shannonwatch calls on the airport authorities at Shannon to refuse landing permission to all Israeli flights as a matter of policy. It also calls on workers at the airport to head the call of the Irish Congress of Trade Union to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel by refusing to service any of these planes if they are permitted to land at the airport.
"We have logged a number of Israeli-registered airplanes at the airport over the last few years" said a Shannonwatch spokesperson. "These include aircraft operated by companies such as Noy Aviation and Arkia Israeli Airlines. Last November the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to the United States on an Arkia airplane which was refueled at Shannon. On that occasion a number of requests were made to Shannon Garda Station to have the plane searched and measures taken to determine if there were possible war criminals on board."
Shannonwatch call on workers at Shannon to follow the example of Swedish Port Workers Union who gave notice at the weekend of a blockade of Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel. "They took this action as a result of the unprecedented criminal attack on the peaceful ship convoy in Gaza in which several unarmed peace activists were killed by Israeli commandos. Irish participants in the Freedom Flotilla were kidnapped in international waters by the Israelis and detained without any reason. It is essential that a strong message be sent to the Israeli government that this cannot and will not be tolerated by Irish workers."
The Swedish workers action is part of an international intensification of the boycott of Israeli goods which has been sparked by the massacre of peaceful aid activists last week.
Shannon airport is also used routinely by airlines transporting military cargo from the United States. "Given that the U.S. supplies military equipment to Israel which uses it to attack and kill innocent Palestinians, the Irish government should immediately put measures in place to ensure that no weapons are supplied to Israel through Ireland or Irish airspace."
Any civilian aircraft seeking to land or overfly Ireland requires the permission of the Minister for Transport to carry military weapons or munitions. In 2009 the MInister granted 1276 permits for their transportation with most of the flights coming through Shannon. "The Minister should as a matter of policy refuse permission to any planes taking weapons to Israel, a country that is guilty of (which has committed) war crimes , crimes against humanity and piracy on the high seas" said Shannonwatch.
"Irish people have a right to know if arms are being transported to Israel through Ireland for the types of massacre they committed on the aid ship last week. We therefore call on the Minister for Transport to publicly clarify his position regarding the transportation of arms to Israel" said Zoe Lawlor of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Shannonwatch and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign will highlight this issue at a peaceful protest in Shannon on Sunday 13 June from 2 - 3pm. The protest which will take place just before the airport entrance will also be a vigil of remembrance for the aid activists murdered by Israeli commandos.
Vigils organised by Shannonwatch take place at Shannon on the second Sunday of every month. These are held in peaceful protest against its ongoing military use.
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