The Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Ireland, Dr Jilan Wahba-Abdalmajid, has welcomed the report of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on Displacement and Demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territory.
A recommendation made by the Committee in the report include “that Ireland, following on from its recent recognition that de facto annexation has taken place in the occupied Palestinian territory, now takes steps towards realising its responsibility to not render aid or assistance to Israel which would facilitate the maintenance of an internationally wrongful act of annexation.”
Dr Wahba-Abdalmajid commended the committee on their work on the report, which included testimony from her and from experts and civil society groups working on the issues raised.
The report called for an end to further evictions, transfer of settlers, demolitions, land appropriations, and pillage of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory and was stark in its conclusion:
“Israeli land policy is racially based. Israel aggressively seeks to maximise the amount of land under Jewish-Israeli control. Palestinian rights, whether private or collective to land are neither protected nor respected by Israel. Israeli land policy has and is deliberately the pursuing goal of driving Palestinians from their lands. Israel implements these policies and practices to attain the enduring political goals of the assertion of sovereignty over East Jerusalem, the West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.
“Israel’s land policy is an integral and essential part of the Apartheid system it operates throughout the entirety of Israel and the OPT.”
Regarding the forced displacement of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, the report found “The pattern of evictions, demolition orders and displacements are not random but appear to be strategically focused on altering the demography of East Jerusalem by targeting areas such as Sheikh Jarrah, which according to International Human Rights Watch seem to be clearing the way for the establishment of more illegal Israeli settlements in the area and physically segregating and fragmenting East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”
The report also recommended that in addition to issuing statements of condemnation on actions taken by the Israeli authorities, Ireland should “agree a graduated set of proposals and concrete measures domestically, including diplomatic and economic and in conjunction with international organisations and bodies, to apply where further violations and breaches of international law occur in respect of demolitions, evictions, displacements, settlement expansion and de facto annexation.”
Ambassador Wahba-Abdalmajid said
“Ireland’s public representatives have once again set the bar for upholding international law and have demonstrated their strong commitment to human rights. Ireland is a leader in championing the rights of Palestinians and has indicated that Palestine will be a priority for them in their work on the UN Security Council.
“The recommendations in the report are to be applauded. The only way to end the injustice being perpetrated against Palestinians is to uphold international law and activate the existing framework for accountability. The impunity for the occupier and the occupation must end so that Palestinians can live in peace.”