June 23, 2020
Irish Government must act now to oppose Israeli annexation plans – Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Junior Minister in the northern Executive, Declan Kearney MLA, has again called on the Irish Government to make clear its opposition to Israeli plans to annex Palestinian lands. 

Writing for An Phoblacht, the South Antrim MLA said:

“Earlier this year both the Israeli and US administrations announced an intention to further annex the West Bank and East Jerusalem by seizing an additional 30% of that land mass after 1st July.

“This will hollow out the existing, and already internally divided State of Palestine, and will fatally damage any remaining prospect of a sustainable ‘Two State solution’, as provided for under the Oslo Agreement in 1993.

“Whilst the extent of compromises made under Oslo were considered highly contentious both at the time and since, the widely held view is that this new annexation (or ‘Deal of the century’) will finally bury that Agreement.  

“These latest annexation plans will constitute another ‘Nakba’, for the Palestinians.

“The human and political consequences will be catastrophic resulting in huge displacement of people, and wholesale seizures of land and natural resources, including water.

“The annexation intended to begin on 1st July is the culmination of a decades long process to liquidate any concept of a viable Palestinian homeland.

“It is much more than just the latest wanton violation of international law.

“This combined Israeli and US plan represents a new humanitarian and political catastrophe for the people of Palestine.

“A new ‘Nakba’!

“It carries within it the potential for an escalation of political conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

“The Foreign Minister of Jordan has already warned of the potential for significant political instability within this region of the Middle East.

“Israel’s latest annexation of Palestine must be opposed.

“No right thinking democrat can stand by and acquiesce in silence.

“The Irish government, caretaker, or newly formed, must listen to the leaders of the Palestinian people, and what they are asking of Ireland. Their message is clear: The Irish government must end its foot dragging and refusal to implement the decision of Dáil Eíreann in 2014, and immediately recognise the State of Palestine. It should also end it’s opposition to the Occupied Territories Bill and pass this legislation at the same time.

“That is the sort of international leadership and concrete initiative required at this time.

“Ireland’s new seat on the UN Security Council should be used to uphold international law, and to assist in coordinating promotion of the humanitarian and national rights of Palestinian citizens.

“The facile, diplomatic pretence of waiting for a right time, or a point ‘to generate some positive momentum’, needs to be set aside. That has become an excuse for Fine Gael ministers to do absolutely nothing. 

“The time to act is now, and not a moment later.” 

Note to Editors:

Sinn Féin will hold an online discussion with prominent Palestinian representatives at 8pm on Wednesday 24th June.

Declan Kearney MLA will facilitate the “Voices from Palestine” discussion and will be joined by:

• Dr Uri Davis, academic and civil rights activist and member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council since 2009

• Dr Mustafa Barghouti, former Minister of Information in the Palestinian unity government and currently Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative

• Dr Bassem Naim, former Minister for Health, currently head of the Hamas Council on International Relations

The event will be live streamed on An Phoblacht’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. 

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