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Human Rights

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 31 May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Questions (313, 316, 326, 333, 357)

Bríd Smith

Question:

313. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will take immediate steps to put pressure on the Israeli government to halt the expulsion and forced transfer of over 1,000 Palestinians, which represents the largest expulsion and forced transfer of Palestinians to take place since the beginning of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine in 1967; if he will acknowledge that the United Nations and international, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations have called this a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a possible war crime; if he will act with the urgency that is required to prevent this action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27534/22]

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Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

316. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps that are being taken by Ireland to stop the imminent expulsion and forced transfer of over 1,000 Palestinians by the Israeli government from Masafer Yatta; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27542/22]

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Neasa Hourigan

Question:

326. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to recent reports of the demolition of and eviction from Palestinian homes in Masafer Yatta on the West Bank; if he has reiterated to the Government of Israel that settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions are illegal under its obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27698/22]

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Paul Murphy

Question:

333. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the Israeli High Court ruling on 4 May 2022 in favour of demolishing 12 communities in Masafer Yatta and displacing thousands of residents under the claim of being present in a firing zone area; if he will make representations to the Israeli government to halt the expulsion and forced transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27739/22]

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Joe O'Brien

Question:

357. Deputy Joe O'Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will call on the Israeli government to halt its plans for a mass expulsion and forced transfer of Palestinians from Masafer Yatta; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28088/22]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 316, 313, 326, 333 and 357 together.

I am deeply concerned by the decision of the Israeli High Court to uphold the eviction order for Palestinians in Masafer Yatta in the West Bank and the confirmation of the designation of the land as a firing zone for the Israeli military. 

On 13 May Ireland along with fourteen other European countries, issued a statement urging the Israeli authorities not to proceed with these evictions. 

Ireland has been proactive in ensuring that this issue is highlighted at the UN Security Council, including at the most recent Council meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on 26 May. Ireland expressed concern regarding the decision, which could result in the forcible transfer of some 1,200 Palestinians and the demolition of their homes and again called on Israel to cease evictions and demolitions, including of donor-funded structures, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.  

Ireland reiterated this in a joint statement to the media following the Security Council meeting along with France, Albania and Estonia. 

I have been consistently vocal in my opposition to illegal Israeli settlements and their expansion in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions clearly violate international law, undermine prospects for a two-State solution and are a major obstacle to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. 

Ireland provides humanitarian assistance, legal and other supports to specific development projects to improve the situation of Palestinians. Ireland is a member of the West Bank Protection Consortium which plays a leading role in supporting threatened communities and coordinating the provision of essential services to them, including material assistance and legal aid. Ireland’s membership of the Consortium underlines our commitment to reducing the vulnerability of Palestinian communities living in Area C of the West Bank.

Question No. 314 answered with Question No. 300.
Question No. 315 answered with Question No. 276.
Question No. 316 answered with Question No. 313.
Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 276.
Question No. 318 answered with Question No. 276.
Question No. 319 answered with Question No. 303.
Question No. 320 answered with Question No. 311.
Question No. 321 answered with Question No. 276.
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