Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.31 20 Nov 2019


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A group is calling for an Irish ban on settlement trade, in response to a US reversal on illegal Israeli settlements.

Earlier this week, the administration of US President Donald Trump declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not illegal.

This was a shift in decades-long US policy in the Middle East, and is not recognised internationally.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: "Ireland strongly continues to support the agreed EU position on Israeli settlement policy.

"Expansion of settlements in Occupied Territory is illegal under international law."

And the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, said: "The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law".

"The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power."

The ambassador of the State of Palestine to Ireland, Ahmad Abdelrazek, welcomed the Government's commitment on the issue.

He said: "Ireland has long been a supporter of international law, recognition of the State of Palestine is part of the current programme for Government, as passed by the Dáil and the Seanad.

"A peaceful two-state solution is being threatened, and those United Nations member states who believe in peace and security should now lead the way in recognising the State of Palestine."

While the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has called on the Government to "move beyond mere condemnations" and act to ban trade with the illegal settlements.

They are calling for support for Senator Frances Black's Occupied Territories Bill.

It would make it an offence for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory - or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances.

On this, Senator Black said: "The US wants to rip up international law with its shift on Israeli settlements in Palestine.

"We can't just sit by - Irish Govt must support my Occupied Territories Bill & push real EU action, before it's too late.

"We showed leadership on apartheid in 80s, we can do it again."

Chairperson of the IPSC, Fatin Al Tamimi, said the US statement "has zero legal validity under international law, and flies in the face of the long-established view held by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the European Union, the Irish Government and every major human rights organisation which view these settlements as not only illegal, but war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.

"It is clear that the Trump-Netanyahu axis of racism seeks to impose a totally illegal 'solution' upon the Palestinian people, but it is very important that we understand that this statement will not only serve to bolster the Apartheid state of Israel's false claim to Palestinian lands colonised after 1967, it gives the green light for yet more ethnic cleansing and colonisation.

"We are glad to see the widespread rejection of this latest anti-Palestinian manoeuvre by an increasingly dangerous US presidency, but mere words are not enough.

"Time is running out for the Palestinian people, and immediate and robust action is needed to end the impunity that the apartheid state of Israel continues to enjoy.

"We call on the Irish Government, which has stated its opposition to the US move, to cease trying to use the 'money message' to block the passage of Frances Black's Occupied Territories Bill which seeks to ban trade with illegal settlements."


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Ahmad Abdelrazek Donald Trump Fatin Al Tamimi Federica Mogherini Frances Black Illegal Israeli Settlements Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Israel Middle East Occupied Territories Bill Palestine Settlement Trade Simon Coveney US Policy

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