Dáil debates

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ceisteanna - Questions

Programme for Government

4:25 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

The Taoiseach will be aware that earlier this year the Israeli and US Administrations announced an intention to further annex the West Bank and East Jerusalem by seizing an additional 30% of that landmass after 1 July.

The Taoiseach will be very well aware that this would hollow out the existing state of Palestine. It would fatally damage any remaining prospect of a sustainable two-state solution as provided for under the Oslo Accords of 1993. There are commitments in the programme for Government which read very well. However, I put it to the Taoiseach that they are not sincerely made. I put it to him that he has allowed one party, namely, Fine Gael, to defy the will of the Oireachtas in the ongoing failure to recognise the state of Palestine as per the 1967 border. That decision was made in 2014, six years ago. The Taoiseach has also allowed Fine Gael to face down the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, even though he and his colleagues in opposition supported those measures.

I want the Taoiseach to act in good faith. I want him to make real and give real meaning to the programme for Government commitments, for example, by honouring our commitment to recognise the state of Palestine. That needs to be done now. If the Taoiseach is going to uphold international law, face down any prospect of any level of further annexation and, critically, face down the ongoing breach in international law by the occupation itself, he needs to act to ensure that the occupied territories Bill becomes law and is placed on our Statute Book.


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