Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceisteanna (54)

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

54. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the most recent report by EU diplomats in Ramallah (details supplied); his views on the report; if he has discussed the report with his counterparts in other EU member states; if his attention has been further drawn to the comments by a person (details supplied); and his views on whether such systemic legal discrimination amounts to apartheid. [6114/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Irish Mission in Ramallah played an active part in the production of the report to which the Deputy refers. It was completed in August 2018. It therefore reflects and incorporates our own views and analysis of the situation and issues in the West Bank. The report underlines the views I have expressed many times here in the Dáil, highlighting the many difficulties and injustices faced by Palestinians under the continuing occupation by Israel of their land. The easing of these injustices, and the end of the occupation, have been the object of all my work in relation to the Middle East conflict. Later this month, for instance, I will host a number of Foreign Minister colleagues from EU and Arab countries at a meeting in Dublin to discuss these issues.

I am aware that a number of respected observers have drawn parallels with South Africa in times past. I do not intend to get tied up in comparing one situation to another. I have however consistently drawn attention to areas where different legal and justice regimes and standards are applied to Israelis and Palestinians - including in the planning system, the treatment of prisoners and of young people in detention, in access to resources and in the accountability of the state and its forces. I have repeatedly stated the clear principle that all people subject to Israeli jurisdiction and control should enjoy the same protection and safeguards as Israel considers appropriate for its own citizens.