Wikileaks: Ireland prevented US arms transfers to Israel

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
December 2, 2010 05:59

Leaked cable reveals Irish Department of Foreign Affairs forbade US military transits to pass through Shannon Airport during 2nd Lebanon War.

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Merkava Mark 4 with Trophy anti-missile system.

Merkava tank anti missile 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

The Irish government attempted to limit US weapons transfers to Israel after the Second Lebanon War, according to a document released by Wikileaks.

A diplomatic cable sent from the US embassy in Ireland reveals that "the Irish Government has informally begun to place constraints on US military transits" at Shannon Airport.

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After the Second Lebanon War, the Irish government tried to prevent weapons from reaching Israel through Shannon Airport. The Irish Department of Transport required that any military equipment passing through the country required "prior notification" and "exemption waivers."

"The Transport Department notice followed upon the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) oral but definitive decision during the Lebanon conflict to forbid US military transits carrying munitions to Israel," the document reads, "a policy that the DFA did not convey to [the US embassy] before informing the media."

The cable explains that this policy is due to the fact that "segments of the Irish public see the airport as a symbol of Irish complicity in perceived US wrongdoing in the Middle East."

James C. Kenny, the American ambassador to Ireland at the time, wrote that Irish officials were warned that the US would use other airports, causing a loss of tens of millions of dollars for the Irish economy, if the policy would continue.                                                                    

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