Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has criticised Minister Simon Coveney on the lack of action on behalf of the Irish government over ongoing de facto Israeli annexation of the West Bank.
Speaking at the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Teachta Brady said:
“Annexation is a war crime. This is a fact that has been established in law by the United Nations.
“The de facto annexation of the West Bank by the Israeli government is ongoing as we speak. This is something that I have commented on repeatedly.
“I have appealed for the Irish government to take the type of tangible action that is necessary to support the people of Palestine to resist the illegal actions of the Israeli authorities.
“Unfortunately, Minister Coveney and the Irish government refuse to do so.
“I know that my focus on Palestine angers the Minister. But the reality is that the government, largely at the behest of the Minister, have shelved the Occupied Territories Bill and have further chosen to ignore the express wishes of the Oireachtas to recognise the state of Palestine.
“These are real and tangible actions, which offered an opportunity for Ireland to show the type of leadership over Palestine, which many in this country did over apartheid in South Africa.
“International opinion impacts on Israeli intent. We as a country could have brought focus to bear on their actions.
“We could have offered a brief, but much needed sense of optimism to the Palestinian people, simply by acting upon the stated wishes of the members of the Dáil, but which the government refuses to act upon.
“We must continue to put pressure on the government, we must increase pressure when and where we can, we must find new and innovative ways to bring the very real sense of outrage felt by the people of Ireland to the doorstep of this government – then we can begin to effect change.”