Taoiseach agrees to raise EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report at next EU leaders meeting
March 5, 2013
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the commitment given to him by the Taoiseach this afternoon during Taoiseach’s Questions to raise the EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report at the next meeting of the EU leaders.
The Jerusalem report, produced by EU diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah is a scathing indictment of the Israeli government’s flouting of international law and it’s violation of the rights of Palestinian citizens living in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories.
Teachta Adams said:
“The Jerusalem report finds that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the west bank are ‘the biggest single threat to the two state solution.’
“The EU report accuses the Israeli government of implementing a settlement policy that is ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative.’
“It concludes that Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of seeking to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem through restrictive zoning and planning, demolitions and evacuations, discriminatory access to religious sites, an inequitable education policy, difficult access to health care and inadequate provision of resources.
“The report makes six recommendations. It calls on the European Union to ‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.’
“It recommends that the EU, which is Israel's largest import and export market and accounts for about a third of Israel’s total trade, should take sanctions against settlements in East Jerusalem and the west Bank. It wants settlement products clearly labelled to ensure that ‘imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs’.
“The Irish government currently holds the Presidency of the EU. This report provides clear evidence of Israeli breaches of international law. The Irish government must give leadership on this vital matter of international concern and act urgently on the information and recommendations made by EU officials.
“This should include the introduction of EU wide legislation to prevent Israeli products manufactured or grown in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank from benefitting from preferential tariffs agreed under an Israeli-EU trade agreement.”