The Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland welcomes the move by Oireachtas members to unanimously vote in favour of the motion moved by Sinn Féin which recognised that the illegal settlement expansions constitute de facto annexation of occupied Palestinian territory. This landmark decision represents the first time that an EU country has broken the consensus and truthfully called out the occupation of Palestinian territory. It was a just and ethical decision by the representatives of the people of Ireland.
Sinn Fein spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Deputy John Brady stated on introducing this motion that “The Israeli regime, which strives to promote and perpetuate Jewish supremacy in the entire area between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, is an apartheid regime. Accordingly, land is used to develop and expand existing illegal settlements and build new ones, while Palestinians are dispossessed and corralled into small crowded enclaves that are effectively Bantustans.” This is a truth which the Palestinians have been articulating for decades.
Our sincere thanks go to the Government, the representatives of the Irish people and in particular to Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. His assertion that “The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind them have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground. We need to call it out for what it is. It is de facto annexation” has already been reported worldwide and made Ireland a leader on this issue which is inherently linked to our goal of a peaceful, just two-state solution. There must be accountability and a resolution of the illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian territory in order to realise that peace.
Our thanks also to the other Government parties, Opposition parties and Independent TDs who supported this motion.
The passing of this motion confirms Ireland’s commitment to the upholding of international law, particularly it’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and sets an example to other states to uphold their obligations and ensure accountability for breaches of those laws by the occupying power.
The Mission was heartened by the collaborative approach of Irish parliamentarians and civil society organisations such as Sadaka, Trócaire, Christian Aid and ICTU who were united in their goal of upholding the human rights of Palestinians. The work behind the scenes from committed individuals such as Senator Frances Black and Dr Susan Power has been instrumental in achieving progress on justice for Palestinians and we owe them our thanks.
The State of Palestine, our President, our Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and our people are grateful for Ireland’s principled stance on peace and justice for Palestine. The affinity between our two nations is long-standing and held dear by us, and long may it continue.