Ban settlement goods – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has this morning called for the EU to play a greater role in seeking a peaceful settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Speaking in the Dáil in a debate on the recent EU Council meeting the Sinn Féin leader criticised the Israeli settlement policy and welcomed the proposal that Israeli goods made in illegal Israeli settlements should be clearly labelled as such.
Teachta Adams said:
“I think the EU could and should be playing a much more active role.
“The Israeli settlement programme remains one of the biggest threats to a two-state solution and to a resolution of the conflict in the Middle East.
“In 2012 Israeli settlements grew by about 1,977 acres and all land expansions in 2012 were approved by Israeli military order.
“These settlements are illegal and against international human rights and humanitarian law.
“According to a new study by AIDA (The Association of International Development Agencies), a coalition of 80 aid agencies, Israel demolished 535 Palestinian-owned structures between May 2012 and April 2013, displacing 784 people, more than half of them children. It also demolished 30 EU-funded structures, such as water cisterns.
“EU foreign ministers in May 2012 urged Israel to halt the ‘forced transfer’ of Palestinian people and to ‘comply with its obligations under international law.’
“The EU needs to get serious about this huge human rights issue. It has to challenge Israel’s flouting of international law.
“I welcome Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s recent statement that goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank should be clearly labelled in all EU countries.
“The EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, has already circulated a proposal for the labelling of those goods so consumers could, in effect, boycott these goods, and I have no doubt that many Irish people will refuse to buy these products.
“Ireland and the EU have repeatedly condemned Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank. But they need to follow through on the logic of this position by not only introducing specific labels for these products, but by introducing an outright ban on the sale of these settlement goods.”