Dáil debates

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Human Rights

10:30 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I am aware of reports of the scale of administrative detention currently in operation by the Israeli authorities. I have called on the Israeli authorities to end this practice completely.

Ireland’s position on these issues is, and will continue to be, based on international law. Detainees must have the right to be informed of the charges underlying any detention, have access to legal assistance, and receive a fair trial. Ireland has repeatedly recalled to Israel the applicability of international human rights standards and international humanitarian law in respect of detainees, in particular obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Ireland has been proactive in consistently highlighting these issues at the UN Security Council during our current term, including calling for progress on prisoners' issues and raising concerns regarding the detention of minors. At the Human Rights Council, Ireland has called on the Israeli authorities, in accordance with their obligations under Article 9 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to refrain from conducting arbitrary arrests and to follow the acceptable procedure established by law regarding arrest and detention. Ireland also made a recommendation to Israel regarding the treatment of detainees during the universal periodic review of Israel at the Human Rights Council in 2018, expressing concern at Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention in particular. I have also raised these issues myself directly with the Israeli authorities during my visits to the region. I have been there quite a few times now.

Ireland’s representative office in Ramallah continues to provide support in the monitoring of individual detainee cases. In addition, both Ireland and the EU provide financial support to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that are active in bringing to light issues regarding the treatment of detainees. The overall human rights situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory remains a priority, and Ireland will continue to take every opportunity to raise this with all appropriate interlocutors.

As the Deputy knows, I met the Palestinian foreign minister, as did the Deputy's party, in recent days. We discussed a range of issues some of which I will raise at the Foreign Affairs Council.


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