Thursday, 22 April 2021

Questions (64)

John Brady

Question:

64. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the description of the human rights situation in the Palestinian Occupied Territory as dire by the UN Special Rapporteur and that Israeli practices amount to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law; the details of results obtained from his public statements, expressions of concern, efforts to build consensus at EU level and various calls for action as indicated in answers to recent questions in Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20940/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory remains a matter of serious concern.

The protection and promotion of human rights is an integral part of Ireland’s foreign policy and we consistently seek to raise our concerns on human rights issues through the most appropriate and effective channels. Our active participation at the UN Human Rights Council is particularly important in that regard.

Ireland made a statement in the interactive dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 24 February where we stressed the importance of accountability for all violations of international law committed in the occupied Palestinian territory. Ireland also co-sponsored the recent Human Rights Council Resolutions on Human Rights and Accountability, Self-Determination and Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Ireland regularly intervenes in interactive dialogues with the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory at the Council and the UN General Assembly. On 18 March, at the most recent session of the Human Rights Council, Ireland made a statement under Item 7 during the General Debate, which urged Israel to halt settlement expansion and demolitions, allow for legal construction for Palestinian communities and called on Israel to facilitate voting in the context of Palestinian elections, including in East Jerusalem.

Ireland also regularly conveys our concerns on human rights issues to the Israeli authorities, both directly and through the EU. I met the Israeli Ambassador on 18 March and conveyed in the strongest terms my concerns on demolitions of humanitarian aid and the issue of settlements. Ireland’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised demolitions and settlements with the Israeli authorities and I have also outlined our position during visits to the region.

Ireland also provides financial support to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs working on human rights issues.