Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (869, 894, 897)

Alan Kelly

Question:

869. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the diplomatic steps he is taking through the EU or through Ireland’s seat on the UN Security Council to halt the forcible evictions and home demolitions targeting hundreds of Palestinian families in occupied east Jerusalem particularly in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood; if he has or plans to call in the Israeli Ambassador regarding this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19962/21]

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Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

894. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the imminent eviction of eight Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem and due to be replaced with illegal Israeli settlers; the actions that Ireland will be taking to ensure Israel does not carry out this war crime given that these evictions are in contravention of international law and would constitute a war crime of forcible transfer of parts of the population of an occupied territory; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20742/21]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

897. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to reports of the imminent eviction of up to 16 Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20817/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 869, 894 and 897 together.

Ireland and the EU have consistently called on the Israeli Government to uphold its international legal obligations, including under the Fourth Geneva Convention, on the treatment of civilian populations. Jerusalem is one of the permanent status issues to be settled in a final peace agreement.

I have consistently highlighted the issues surrounding illegal settlements, including evictions and seizures of property, which are a major driver of the continuing conflict and an obstacle to peace. In my statement to the UN Security Council on 26 January, I urged Israel to halt continued settlement expansion, demolition activity and evictions, including in East Jerusalem.

I met the Israeli Ambassador on 18 March and conveyed in the strongest terms my concerns on these issues and urged the Israeli authorities to cease this activity.

Ireland provides humanitarian assistance, legal and other supports to specific development projects to improve the situation of Palestinians. Ireland funds a number of civil society partners that are active on human rights issues which impact specifically on Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including in relation to the evictions which the Deputy has raised.

I am aware of the situation in the Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, and the longstanding threat of eviction faced by Palestinian residents in these areas. Ireland’s Representative Office in Ramallah has visited the site along with other diplomatic representatives in recent months and continues to monitor the situation closely, in cooperation with partners on the ground.

Question No. 870 answered with Question No. 836.