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Occupied Territories Bill offers opportunity to show solidarity to Palestinian people – Maurice Quinlivan TD

23 January, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan TD today expressed his support for the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 that was brought for Second Stage debate in the Dáil this afternoon. 

Speaking on the Bill Teachta Quinlivan articulated his support for the aims of the bill which would prohibit the import and sale of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements and by doing so, show the Israeli government that their deplorable behaviour in the occupied Palestinian territories cannot continue unchallenged. 

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, the Limerick City TD said;

“I want to commend Senator Frances Black for drafting this significant Bill and bringing it forward. Senator Black has been a champion for the people of Palestine, and I am proud to lend my vote and that of my party to her bill here this afternoon.

“This Bill offers the Dáil a chance to both shine a light on the continued horrendous treatment of people living in Palestine by the Israeli government, and also for politicians here to take tangible action to show our solidarity with those living under the cruel illegal occupation.

“I never fail to be appalled and horrified at how brutal the Israeli government and occupying army can be to the Palestinian people.

“The oppressive Israeli government cannot be allowed to continue to act with total disregard for human life, and with complete contempt for international law.

“As a nation of people who lived under a brutal occupier for hundreds of years, we should be acutely aware of the need for other states to show their solidarity with nations living under occupation and assist them in any way possible with their aspiration for statehood.

“This Bill would prohibit the import and sale of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements, restrict Irish involvement in the provision of services in such settlements, and ban the extraction of resources from occupied territories without the consent of the recognised authority of that territory.

“The bill will not implement a ban on Israeli goods in general. It would only affect goods produced in occupied territories built beyond Israel’s borders, deemed illegal under international law. This is entirely appropriate and justifiable.

“It is completely unacceptable that Fine Gael have steadfastly refused to implement the will of the Dáil by recognising the state of Palestine, in line with a Sinn Féin motion that was passed here in 2014.

“Today I am calling on Ministers McGrath, Halligan and Ross to use their influence within the government to ensure this is progressed immediately.

“I hope the passing of this bill and the official state recognition of Palestine will set an example for other countries across the world to follow and in turn force the Israeli government to change their deplorable behaviour.”

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