July 14, 2021
Government must express support for UN database of companies involved in illegal settlements – Louise O’Reilly TD & Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin representatives Louise O’Reilly TD and Senator Paul Gavan have said that it is important that the Irish Government express support for UN database of companies involved in illegal settlements in Palestine.

Speaking following an Oireachtas Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee hearing on trade between Ireland and Palestinian territory, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Scores of settlements have been set up in Palestine in flagrant defiance of international law.

“Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are regarded as illegal under international law and by much of the international community.

“As a result, the United Nations set up a database of companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements. Businesses operating in these illegal settlements are essential to their continued existence, and therefore this information is an important step towards due diligence on businesses which are sustaining illegal activities on Palestinian land.

“At the Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee today, members heard how the Irish Government has not expressed support for the United Nations database of companies involved in illegal settlements, despite it being launched over a year ago.

“That must change. The Irish Government must express its support for the UN database of companies involved in illegal settlements on Palestinian lands.

Senator Gavan said:

“There is a moral cowardice that pervades this Government, and especially Fine Gael, when it comes to holding Israel to account for its crimes. They are never proactive in standing up for Palestine and the Palestinian people, and they always have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing.

“The failure of the Government to express its support for the UN database of companies involved in illegal settlements on Palestinian lands is another case in point.

“The Irish Government must immediately express its support for the database, and it must also ensure at the UN Human Rights Council that appropriate funding is in place to finance the regular revision of the database.”