Cowen: Israel faces 'serious consequences' if Irish are harmed

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has today warned Israel that if it harms any Irish citizens there will be "serious consequences".

Mr Cowen also said that the Government is "very unhappy" with the current situation, and that the Israeli government hasn't "a leg to stand on" in their detention of Irish citizens, who he says must be released immediately.

"If any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences," said the Taoiseach.

The Taoiseach says the claims of self-defence by Israel do not appear to be borne by the facts, and called on Israel to immediately arrange for the unconditional release of the five Irish citizens who remain in a detention camp, awaiting deportation.

Asked if action should be taken on expelling the Israeli ambassador here, or withdrawing ours from Tel Aviv, Mr Cowen says the continued presence of diplomatic personnel is essential to protect Irish citizens.

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