Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions (72)

Thomas Gould


72. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the actions he has taken to protect families in forced evictions in east Jerusalem. [24170/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in Jerusalem in recent days, the launching of rockets from Gaza, and the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces. I am shocked at reports of people killed in this operation, including 9 children, and by the launching of rocket from Gaza into Southern Israel and the deaths there. I call urgently for calm and restraint from all parties.

Provocations and clashes in East Jerusalem, which led to many injured at the holy site of Haram al–Sharif/Temple Mount, are deeply worrying. The approach of the Israeli Authorities and Security Forces is not acceptable. Israel must protect civilians and comply with international humanitarian law.

On the question of evictions in East Jerusalem, I am aware of the longstanding threat of eviction faced by Palestinian residents in neighbourhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah. I have urged Israel to cease evictions and demolitions. I met with the Israeli Ambassador today to convey Ireland’s position on this and recent violence.

Yesterday at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, I 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. Ireland also called for the UN Security Council to discuss the situation in East Jerusalem at a closed meeting of the Security Council yesterday. Ireland underlined that Israeli actions in East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa compound were not acceptable and provocative, and called for Israel to comply with international law.

This morning Ireland’s Representative Office in Ramallah visited the site along with other diplomatic representatives. Irish officials continue to monitor the situation closely, in cooperation with partners on the ground.

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.

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 58.
Question No. 74 answered with Question No. 66.