Dáil debates

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ceisteanna - Questions

Programme for Government

4:35 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Putting the occupied territories Bill on our Statute Books would not change anything in terms of Israeli Government policy right now, if we are honest. What is important is that I do think we have to take a stand in respect of any proposals by the Israeli Government to annex more lands, as has been proposed but has not happened yet. There is significant opposition to that. The provisions in the programme for Government are well made and sincerely made. I have had an interest in this for quite a long time now myself, and when I was last Minister for Foreign Affairs I took action. I went to Gaza and met with the UNRWA. One of the most practical things the State has done along with the European Union for quite a long time has been supporting UNRWA with a huge investment in education in Palestine. That is important. It never gets said in here. Where practically we can improve things, we should do more. The issue of recognition of the Palestinian state is on the agenda of the programme for Government, to have other language in there, as the Deputy knows, in terms of timing and the optimal time to do it and in consultation with other EU member states. There are important considerations.

I take it that the Deputy is sincerely committed to this but I would suggest that the next time she or her party is in Capitol Hill, they might raise it.


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