Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
As the Deputy knows, I have been and continue to be vocal on that issue. I remain seriously concerned by Israel's designation of six Palestinian NGOs, including Irish Aid and EU partner organisations, as terrorist entities. This designation has the potential to affect not only these six organisations, but civil society more broadly across the occupied Palestinian territory. It could seriously undermine vital humanitarian development and human rights work. This issue continues to be a priority for Ireland. In the context of the UN Security Council, Ireland has repeatedly raised this matter in monthly meetings of the Security Council, stressing our continued commitment to and support of civil society.
We have asked, over and again, for the evidence that forms the basis for this designation and we have yet to see anything credible that links these NGOs to terrorist activity. I think the EU, as in its institutions, has taken the same position. Obviously, different countries within the EU take different positions. I can only speak for Ireland. We will continue to raise this issue. It is so important there is a strong presence of civil society and non-governmental organisations across the West Bank and in Gaza so that people can speak the truth and legally challenge certain decisions. That is how democracies work. We will continue to support the organisations we have been working with.