Thursday, 18 November 2021

Questions (16, 23, 24)

Pauline Tully

Question:

16. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will call in the Israeli Ambassador to raise with them the detention of six Palestinian men who are currently on hunger strike under administrative detention which allows these men to be held indefinitely without charge, without trial and without evidence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56503/21]

View answer

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

23. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the European Union is proposing action against Israel on the issue of Palestinian hunger strikers and demanding an end to their administrative detention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56568/21]

View answer

Gino Kenny

Question:

24. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has had engagement with his counterparts in the European Union on the situation of Palestinian hunger strikers that are demanding an end to their administrative detention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56567/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 23 and 24 together.

I am aware of the Palestinian prisoners currently engaging in a hunger strike to protest their arrest under the Israeli policy of administrative detention, including the concerns raised by the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding the health of a number of these prisoners. I welcome the news that one of the individuals concerned has recently reached an agreement with the Israeli authorities to end his strike.

I share the concerns raised by EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore on 16 November regarding the deteriorating health conditions of the detainees .

Irish officials are monitoring this matter, in cooperation with partners on the ground. Ireland supports the statement by the EU Delegation in Jerusalem on 5 November, calling on Israel to respect international law and avoid loss of life in this case, and reiterating the right of all detainees to a fair trial.

I support the call made on October by UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to end completely the practice of administrative detention.

Ireland, and the EU, have repeatedly raised the treatment of Palestinian prisoners with the Israeli authorities. At the Human Rights Council, Ireland has called on the Israeli authorities, in accordance with their obligations under Article 9 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to refrain from conducting arbitrary arrests and to follow the acceptable procedure established by law regarding arrest and detention.

Both Ireland and the EU also provide financial support to NGOs in Israel and in oPt who are active in bringing issues regarding the treatment of detainees to light.

Question No. 17 answered orally.