Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Policy

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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44. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on Israel’s plans for the construction of around 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank. [56510/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland has consistently and strongly opposed settlements and will continue to do so. Settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions threaten the viability of a two-state solution.

Ireland has expressed serious concern in relation to the recent announcements by Israeli authorities of plans for the construction of more than 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank. On 28 October, Ireland joined 11 other European states in issuing a statement urging the Israeli authorities to reverse the decision.

I saw myself on my recent visit to the occupied Palestinian territory the impact that settlements are having on Palestinian communities and on the viability of a future Palestinian State. I am particularly concerned about developments in strategically sensitive areas around East Jerusalem.

During my recent visit to the region, I met with Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid. I conveyed in clear terms my concern at recent announcements and called on the Israeli authorities to cease all settlement activity, which is illegal under international law. Ireland will continue to raise the issue at the Security Council, as well as at EU level. Ireland supported a call for the Security Council to discuss the recent announcements and this meeting took place on 8 November.

The UN Deputy Special Coordinator briefed the Council on the issue and Ireland underlined the illegality of the settlements at the meeting. Ireland joined EU Members of the Council in a Joint Press Statement together with Norway and incoming member Albania, following the meeting of the Security Council, which urged Israel to halt settlement activity.


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