Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Ceisteanna (254, 255)

John Gormley

Ceist:

370 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has received reports on the Israeli incursion into the city of Nablus from 26 December 2003 to 6 January 2004; if his attention has been drawn to allegations of human rights abuses during this incursion; if he has made or proposes to make representations on the matter to the Israeli authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2057/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Foreign)

I am familiar with the report to which the Deputy refers. Our diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv and Ramallah closely monitor incursions of this kind and our opposition to such actions is well known to the Israeli authorities. During my recent visit to Israel, I stressed to my Israeli interlocutors the need to ease the living conditions of the population of the occupied Palestinian territories by easing restrictions and closures and by avoiding incursions into Palestinian population centres.

John Gormley

Ceist:

371 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he considers that the Israeli authorities should not be held responsible for the destruction of Palestinian public infrastructure the provision of which was funded by the European Union; if he raised the matter during meetings with Israeli leaders in the course of his recent visit to Israel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2058/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Destruction of public or private infrastructure by Israeli occupation forces is to be deplored and has been the subject of statements and demarches by the European Union. The question of destruction of infrastructure funded by the European Union has been the subject of a letter from the Spanish Presidency to the then Israeli Foreign Minister and has been raised with Israel at the EU-Israel Association Council. The European Commission has reserved its position on the question of compensation for such destruction by the Israeli authorities. The matter did not arise during my recent visit to Israel.