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Taoiseach must recognise the State of Palestine – Gerry Adams TD

17 November, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has challenged the Taoiseach to “stand up now and formally recognise the state of Palestine.”

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday the Louth TD urged the Taoiseach to live up to his own commitments on Palestinian statehood.

Teachta Adams said:

“It does not need legislation, it only needs the Taoiseach to take that decision. I invite him to keep to his Government's commitment to act in the letter and the spirit of the Oireachtas motion of two years ago and to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

“The Taoiseach’s reply was vague and unacceptable. We were told that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is concluding work on this issue but no time frame was given.

“The Programme for Government states that the Government will 'honour our commitment to recognise the State of Palestine.' Two years ago next month the Dáil and Seanad voted to do this. The government has failed to act on this.

“Since the beginning of this year 252 Palestinian homes in the West Bank have been demolished. As a result, 1062 people, including 553 children, are homeless. In the last 15 years Israeli authorities have destroyed approximately 150 internationally funded development projects costing the EU an estimated €58 million.

“Among the demolitions were a farming project in the Jordan Valley, a playground near Nablus and a primary school serving a Bedouin community east of Jerusalem. At the same time Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“In recent months there has also been a marked increase in the number of UN and NGO officials being denied entry into Gaza and the west Bank to work on internationally supported projects.

“The Taoiseach has been in Gaza, as have I. He knows all too well the horror people there are living through.

“On September 26th I raised this issue of recognition of the state of Palestine with the Taoiseach. Nothing happened.

“Prior to that on June 8th I raised this same issue with the Taoiseach. At that time I was told that the Taoiseach would ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to brief me and the Taoiseach agreed that it 'might be no harm if we had a debate on the Palestinian situation in due course.'

“Neither the Taoiseach nor the Minister for Foreign Affairs has come back to me on this issue nor has the government allotted any time for a debate on the issue of Palestine. It is long past time that this state formally recognised the state of Palestine.

“The rights of the Palestinian people to statehood should not be dictated by Israeli opposition.”

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