Press release

Case for Israeli sanctions even stronger, Green Party’s Martin says

8th March 2024
Vincent P Martin

Case for Israeli sanctions even stronger, Green Party’s Martin says

Justified reason for the EU to impose strict trade sanctions on Israel has gathered further compelling strength resulting from Israel falling to take immediate measures to allow large amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza, Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson Vincent P Martin said today (March 8th).

More than half a million Gazans are at immediate risk of famine while children in northern Gaza have already died due to starvation, according to the World Health Organisation.

Despite these catastrophic conditions, the level of humanitarian aid entering the enclave dropped by half last month. UNRWA reported that only 98 aid trucks were able to enter Gaza in February, nowhere near enough to support its population of 2.3 million people.

“The images we saw on our televisions of emaciated and starving Gazan children needs to be the point where the entire global community unites and finally tells Israel ‘enough’,” Senator Martin said.

“Moves by the international community to air drop food and build sea ports may seem positive but a much simpler solution is for Israel to facilitate access by land into Gaza.”

The failure of both Israel and Hamas to agree terms on a ceasefire has complicated this access but Israel can still do much, much more to improve to ease the passage of lifesaving supplies into Gaza.

Senator Martin said that the time is long past for EU countries to use their economic leverage over Israel to force its hand. Ireland and Spain have already asked the European Commission to investigate whether Israel is complying with its human rights obligations under the EU-Israel Association Agreement but other countries must join this move.

The EU is Israel’s biggest trade partner, accounting for 28.8% of its trade in goods in 2022. Almost one third of Israel’s imports came from the EU, and just over a quarter of the country’s exports went to the EU.

“The fact that Gazan children have already begun to die from starvation is devastating but a full blown famine would represent a stain on the conscience of European countries for generations," he said.  "We cannot allow ourselves to continue sleepwalking into a humanitarian catastrophe."

Senator Martin said he will raise the issue of trade sanctions with fellow European Green parties. He also urged Hamas to do everything in its power to facilitate a ceasefire including immediately freeing all Israeli hostages. 

Share on