I have received apologies from Deputy Stanton. This meeting clashes with Question Time with the Minister for Defence in the plenary session of the Dáil in the national convention centre and some of our members are engaged in that business. I welcome Deputy Boyd Barrett, who is not a member but a welcome participant.
Before we formally commence, I wish to convey my condolences to those injured and killed in the attacks on both sides of the conflict in Gaza, Israel and elsewhere in the region over the past few days. At our meeting on Tuesday, I called on those with influence in the region to use that influence to stop the violence and indiscriminate attacks. I repeat that call this morning on the basis that it is my firm belief that the way forward must involve dialogue and engagement by the international community with both sides of the conflict and the application, of course, of international law, being mindful of UN resolutions.
We are joined this morning by the ambassador of Israel to Ireland, H. E. Mr. Ophir Kariv, Ms Jackie Goodall and Ms Audrey Griffin of the Ireland Israel Alliance, Ms Natasha Hausdorff of UK Lawyers for Israel, and Mr. Alan Shatter, a former Oireachtas Member, a former member of this committee in a previous Dáil and no stranger to these proceedings. The witnesses are all very welcome and I thank them for meeting with us this morning. Today's meeting is the second in a series reviewing the position in the occupied Palestinian territories in respect of displacements and the demolition of public and private buildings. At our meeting on Tuesday, we heard from the ambassador and head of mission of Palestine and representatives of Sadaka. A further meeting is scheduled for Tuesday of next week. The committee has also sought written submissions from several interested parties and bodies. Following our meetings and consideration of all submissions, it is our intention as a committee to publish a report.
The format of the meeting this morning is that we will hear opening statements from H. E. Mr. Kariv, Ms Goodall, Ms Hausdorff and Mr. Shatter, in that order, before proceeding to a question and answer session involving members and witnesses. As we are limited to two hours, I ask that witnesses be conscious of the time constraints when initially addressing the committee. Due to the changing circumstances in the region, I will allow some latitude to discuss the ongoing crisis. However, I remind guests and members that the main purpose of the meeting is to inform committee members in respect of displacements and the demolition of public and private buildings in order for the committee to report on those matters. I ask that members and witnesses be conscious of our terms of reference when speaking. In the first round of questions, each member will have seven minutes for questions and answers. After six minutes, I will indicate that there is one minute remaining. Should time permit, we will open up the meeting at the end to deal with other outstanding issues. However, as stated, the session must conclude within two hours, having regard to the Covid restrictions under which we are operating.
I remind witnesses of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of that person or entity. Therefore, if any statements are potentially defamatory in regard to an identifiable person or entity, witnesses will be directed to discontinue their remarks. I need not remind our guests that it is imperative that any such direction be complied with immediately. For witnesses attending remotely from outside the Leinster House campus, there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege. As such, they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as do witnesses who are physically present in the building. Witnesses participating in this committee session from a jurisdiction outside the State are advised that they should also be mindful of their domestic law and how it may apply to the evidence given.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against any person outside the House or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. I also remind members that they are only allowed to participate in this meeting if they are physically located on the Leinster House complex or in the national convention centre, where some parliamentary sittings are taking place during the Covid pandemic. For anybody watching this meeting online, some members and witnesses are accessing the meeting remotely. Due to the unprecedented circumstances and the large number of people attending remotely, I ask that everybody bear with us in the event of any issue of a technical nature arising. I thank those responsible for the technical logistics for their work so far. I hope matters proceed smoothly over the next two hours.
It gives me pleasure to call on Ambassador Kariv to make his opening statement to the committee. He has the floor and he is welcome.