Irish Time (04/06/10) Protest continues at Israeli embassy

About 50 people are continuing to blockade the Israeli embassy in Dublin today in protest at Israel’s policies on Gaza.

Members of the Irish Anti-war Movement gathered outside the embassy on Pembroke Road in Ballsbridge last night following a protest and have remained there in an attempt to keep the building closed for the day. The embassy generally closes at lunchtime on Friday.

Richard Boyd Barrett, chair of the movement, said they had undertaken the protest to highlight the “continued inhuman blockade" of Gaza.

“The international community must act now and impose sanctions on Israel. We are calling on the Irish government to break diplomatic ties with Israel now and expel the Israeli ambassador until the siege of Gaza is lifted,” he said.

Mr Boyd Barrett, a People Before Profit councillor for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, said no security staff or officials had arrived at the embassy today. “It looks as if they won’t try to get in while we’re here.” He said the protest would wind down in the coming hours and deemed it a success.

Calls to the embassy’s reception and press office this morning were not answered.

Mr Boyd Barrett said the protest may resume if the passage of the aid ship MV Rachel Corrie  to Gaza was interfered with.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign affairs said the Israeli embassy had been in contact today and that their concerns were passed on to An Garda Síochána.

A Garda spokesman said the protests were peaceful, no arrests had been made and that the situation was being monitored.