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Ireland has a responsibility to support the Palestinian people – Reilly

27 November, 2014

Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has said that Ireland needs to uphold responsibility to the Palestinian people, especially following recent Israeli activity which is threatening the Middle East Peace Process.

Speaking today during Statements on Foreign Affairs, Senator Reilly stated:

“We are at a severely critical juncture in the Middle East Peace Process with Palestine and Israel. Israel’s continued settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is putting the very existence of a state solution at threat.

“The recent backing of the Israeli Cabinet of a bill that would enshrine Israel as a Jewish state discriminates against the 20% of the population who are Arab Christians and Muslims. It is also discriminatory and treats minorities as 2nd class citizens.

“Even the Israeli Attorney General has criticised the Bill for placing the Jewish nature of the State over the democratic nature. The dangerous politics being played with religious sites in occupied East Jerusalem at the moment could raise tensions to the point of reigniting a new Intifada. That is the reality.

“Ireland and the international community have a responsibility to support the Palestinian people, especially at this critical moment when things are hanging on by a thread. It was wrong that the government abstained on the UN Human Rights Council vote during the Gaza onslaught and it was wrong that we voted against the motion at the annual IAEA meeting calling on Israel to sign up to the NPT.

“It’s disappointing that we have not led by example in the EU by officially recognising the State of Palestine.  We continue to hear that Sweden has acted outside of agreed measures by unilaterally doing this, it would be the opportunity for this state to follow suit and support their stance. This government should be showing similar leadership. There would have been overwhelming support from the people of Ireland and the opposition parties if this government did so.”

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