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Sinn Féin welcomes passage of Occupied Territories Bill through all Seanad stages

5 December, 2018 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed tonight’s passage of the ‘Occupied Territories Bill’ through all stages in the Seanad.

Speaking after the decisive vote in favour of the legislation, Seanad spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:

“I am delighted at tonight’s vote (Tá 29 – Níl 16). We in Sinn Féin were more than happy to facilitate the Report and Final Stages of this bill in our Private Members time, in order to get the legislation through the Seanad without delay.

“I want to commend Senator Frances Black for her work on the bill which aims to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.

“It is regrettable that the Government and Fine Gael have opposed this progressive and human rights based legislation, and I would strongly encourage them to rethink their position before the bill comes before the Dáil in the next term.

“This Bill has a noble and just aim. It is not extreme. It only seeks to establish a legal framework to ban these imports from settlements which are already illegal under international humanitarian law and, most importantly, domestic law in this state.

“As long as we continue to hand the Israeli Government impunity to impose apartheid, continue its illegal occupation, and violate international law they will never make the necessary compromises to create a just and lasting peace settlement.

“The Irish Government has to give a strong and unambiguous statement that there can be no impunity for Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

“Nothing is going to change in Gaza or the West Bank until the international community move on from empty rhetoric and actually put some real pressure on Israel.

“The Government has got to stop sitting on the side-lines wringing its hands. When real, concrete, tangible steps are proposed, the Government is afraid to show leadership.

“Ireland’s proud record in standing against apartheid and inspiring others to do likewise must prevail.”

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