Ireland’s position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory informs our engagement with the state of Israel across a range of bilateral issues and will continue to do so. Ireland distinguishes between the territory of the state of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967 in line with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Ireland will continue to use our seat on the UN Security Council to draw attention to the issue of settlements, demolitions, evictions and settler violence. When I addressed the Security Council on 16 May, I raised illegal Israeli settlements and their impact on the viability of a future two-state solution. Later today, Ireland will join a meeting of the Security Council with the UN special co-ordinator on the Middle East, which will focus on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
At an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on 27 May, I called on EU colleagues to address the issues of settlement expansion in a more robust way. I raised these issues again at the Foreign Affairs Council on 21 June. The EU and the international community more broadly has an obligation to act and seek to address these root causes of violence and tension.
Ireland consistently conveys our views on settlements to the Israeli authorities directly. I have met with the Israeli ambassador and conveyed in the strongest terms my concerns on settlement announcements and associated infrastructure development. Department officials work closely with the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and UN agencies on the ground, on these issues.
Ireland’s ambassador in Tel Aviv raises this issue regularly with the Israeli Government. Ireland's representative office in Ramallah has made a number of visits, along with EU representatives, to sensitive sites of concern in the West Bank. Ireland’s position is informed by international law, respect for human rights and the negative political impact of settlement activities on the prospects for a future negotiated peace agreement.