Ireland to Raise EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report at Next Meeting of EU Leaders

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EXCELLENT NEWS! Ireland holds the Chair this year and now finally a commitment from the Taoiseach to raise this important report at the next meeting of EU leaders.
For those unfamiliar with the EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report, here is a link to the draft report in PDF format, give it a read HERE

March 5st 2013

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the commitment given to him by the Taoiseach this afternoon during Taoiseach’s Questions to raise the EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report at the next meeting of the EU leaders.

The Jerusalem report, produced by EU diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah is a scathing indictment of the Israeli government’s flouting of international law and it’s violation of the rights of Palestinian citizens living in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Jerusalem report finds that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the west bank are ‘the biggest single threat to the two state solution.’

The EU report accuses the Israeli government of implementing a settlement policy that is ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative.’

It concludes that Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of seeking to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem through restrictive zoning and planning, demolitions and evacuations, discriminatory access to religious sites, an inequitable education policy, difficult access to health care and inadequate provision of resources.

The report makes six recommendations. It calls on the European Union to ‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.’

It recommends that the EU, which is Israel’s largest import and export market and accounts for about a third of Israel’s total trade, should take sanctions against settlements in East Jerusalem and the west Bank. It wants settlement products clearly labelled to ensure that ‘imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs’. “

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“The Irish government currently holds the Presidency of the EU. This report provides clear evidence of Israeli breaches of international law. The Irish government must give leadership on this vital matter of international concern and act urgently on the information and recommendations made by EU officials.

This should include the introduction of EU wide legislation to prevent Israeli products manufactured or grown in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank from benefitting from preferential tariffs agreed under an Israeli-EU trade agreement.”

>>>>>>>>> EXACT TEXT OF ADAMS LETTER TO TAOISEACH WHICH HE HAS NOW HAD A POSITIVE REPLY TO AND BEEN GIVEN A COMMITMENT THAT THE REPORT WILL BE RAISED AT THE NEXT EU LEADERS MEETING:

A Thaoisigh, a chara,

I am writing to you about the publication of the EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report which I understand was handed over to EU governments in January. Given that the Irish Government now holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union it is critically important that the Government give leadership on this vital matter of international concern and act urgently on the information and recommendations made by EU officials.

This should include the introduction of EU wide legislation to prevent Israeli products manufactured or grown in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank from benefitting from preferential tariffs agreed under an Israeli-EU trade agreement.

This report is a scathing indictment of the Israeli government’s flouting of international law and its violation of the rights of Palestinian citizens living in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories. The report finds that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the west bank are ‘the biggest single threat to the two state solution.

The EU report accuses the Israeli government of implementing a settlement policy that is ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative.’ It concluded that Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of seeking to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem through restrictive zoning and planning, demolitions and evacuations, discriminatory access to religious sites, an inequitable education policy, difficult access to health care and inadequate provision of resources.

The 15-page report from the EU diplomats identified settlement construction on the southern flank of east Jerusalem — in Har Homa, Gilo and Givat HaMatos – as being the “most significant and problematic”.

The diplomats warned that this construction would likely cut the area off from Bethlehem by the end of the year:

“The construction of these three settlements is part of a political strategy aiming at making it impossible for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states … If the current pace of settlement activity on Jerusalem’s southern flank persists, an effective buffer between east Jerusalem and Bethlehem may be in place by the end of 2013, thus making the realization of a viable two-state solution inordinately more difficult, if not impossible.”

The report also focuses on plans announced by Israel late last year to build 3,426 units in E1 — a strip of West Bank land east of Jerusalem. If this project goes ahead the EU report concludes that it will effectively cut the West Bank in half.

The Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report 2012 indicts Israel of violating “international humanitarian law” and makes six recommendations. It calls on the European Union to ‘prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.’

It recommends that the EU, which is Israel’s largest import and export market and accounts for about a third of Israel’s total trade, should take sanctions against settlements in East Jerusalem and the west Bank. It wants settlement products clearly labelled to ensure that ‘imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs’.

The information in this report cannot be ignored or set aside. This report provides clear evidence of Israeli breaches of international law and the implementation of policies that are reminiscent of the homeland policy of the old apartheid regime in South Africa.

Taoiseach I believe that the Irish government, as the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU must give leadership on this vital matter of international concern and act urgently on the information and recommendations made by EU officials. This should include the introduction of EU wide legislation to prevent Israeli products manufactured or grown in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank from benefitting from preferential tariffs agreed under an Israeli-EU trade agreement.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President
Kildare St
Dublin 2


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