Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Questions (55)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

55. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the calls on Israel for an immediate moratorium on demolitions and confiscations; if he will request compensation for confiscated or demolished EU assets in area C of the West Bank; and his views on whether the European External Action Service should publish and disseminate the biannual report of the EU representative in Jerusalem, EUREP, on demolitions and confiscations of EU member state funded structures. [36124/16]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland has consistently called for an immediate moratorium on demolitions and confiscations by Israel of Palestinian structures. Such actions, including the destruction and removal of houses and infrastructure for water and power, are an ongoing issue and a matter of serious concern. I have been vocal in condemning demolitions and confiscations and have also done so in conjunction with our EU partners in Brussels.

In Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process earlier this year, the EU Foreign Affairs Council reiterated its “strong opposition” to actions taken in the context of Israel’s settlement policy, including demolitions and confiscations.

The issue of asking for compensation for confiscated or demolished EU assets in Area C of the West Bank is a matter that is currently under discussion at EU level. Ireland has argued for a stronger response to demolitions and confiscations and, in my view, the EU should request compensation in such instances. However, not all EU partners are of the same mind. Agreement on this point has not been reached, but I will continue to advocate for compensation.

Regarding the publication of the report by the EU Delegation to the West Bank and Gaza on demolitions and confiscations of EU-funded structures in Area C, the standard assumption is that such reports are not published and they are prepared on this basis. I have no objection to this specific report being published, if agreed with EU partners. However, there is information on demolitions and confiscations available through other sources.