They were addressed by Sinn Fein’s O’Snodaigh and Fianna Fail’s Andrews who were prevented by Cypriot authorities from joining the flotilla at the weekend.
O’Snodaigh, who called for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled, said, “It looks as though this cold and calculated attack took place in international waters, in breach of all international maritime laws. There must be action from the international community.”
Andrews said, “Israel has proven repeatedly that it believes itself to be above international law, evidenced by the fact that it carried out these attacks in international waters.
“I have just spent a week with several of the people who were on board these boats and I can say with absolute certainty these people were only concerned with peacefully bringing badly needed aid to the region.”
At least nine people were killed after the Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish “Mavi Marmara” ship, from the pro-Islamic aid group IHH, and Free Gaza’s “Challenger” in international waters more than 40 miles off the coast of Gaza. Israel said its soldiers were shot at but the activists, who said they were unarmed, insisted Israeli troops came on board shooting.
The ships were part of a flotilla attempting to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
his meeting with the Israeli ambassador Foreign Minister Martin said, “I made it clear that the Irish government expects the immediate and unconditional release of all the Irish citizens detained.
“The seven individuals concerned did not enter Israel illegally; rather they were essentially seized from international waters, taken into Israel and asked to sign documents confirming that they entered illegally. This is simply not acceptable.”
Martin added that he condemned Israel’s “unacceptable and disproportionate” use of force and he accused it of “essentially kidnapping” the Irish citizens aboard the ships.
By Tuesday two Irish citizens were ordered to be deported and were expected to be put aboard flights out of Israel. They were Shane Dillon and Issan Ben Ali.
They were among the Irish citizens detained in Israel after the Gaza-bound aid flotilla they were sailing in was raided by armed and masked Israeli commandos in the early hours of Monday morning.