Archive for category European Union

EU delegation ‘extremely concerned’ about Israel’s plan to raze Palestinian village-Martina Anderson MEP

Posted by on Thursday, 23 July, 2015

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Israel’s plan to destroy a Palestinian village and leave about 350 people homeless has sent a wave of outcry beyond Middle East. European MP Martina Anderson has expressed “extreme concern” about the destiny of the village.

“The situation is unacceptable,” said Martina Anderson, President of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council in a state on Wednesday, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports. “The villagers face expulsion from their own lands and they have nowhere to go,” she added.

“Such ongoing violations of Palestinians’ Human rights are contrary to Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement which states that the relationship is based on mutual respect for human rights and democratic principles,” Anderson said.
“The EU cannot continue to tolerate persistent violations of the agreement by Israel,” she concluded.

In June, diplomats from all 28 EU member states visited Susya to protest the Israeli decision.
Last week the US also criticized Israeli intent to demolish the village. “We strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby in a press briefing on July, 16.

Along with international reaction the problem of Susya causes an outcry of the Palestinian authorities.

“The Israel occupation has systematically pursued a policy of forcible transfer of civilian Palestinian populations, which is a crime against humanity under International law, and in the process has replaced the indigenous Palestinian population with foreign settlers throughout Occupied Palestine,” said Saeb Eraekat, PLO Executive Committee Member and Chief Negotiator, Palestine News Network reports.

“Some of the most dramatic examples of such policies can be seen in the villages of Abu Nawar and Susya, in Jerusalem and Hebron respectively,” he added.

The Palestinian village of Susya, which is situated near the southern border between Israel and the West Bank on a site of an ancient Jewish settlement, has existed since the 1830s. In the early 1980s, Israel established a Jewish settlement near the village and in June, 1986 expropriated the residential ground for creating an “archeological park.”

After that several waves of expulsions and demolitions took place – in 1990, 2001 and 2011. As a result, the most Palestinian settlement was destroyed and many people were forced to live in tents and lean-tos. Palestinian attempts to rebuild their demolished houses were deemed illegal.

In May, 2015 the Supreme Court of Israel approved destruction of the rest of the settlement. 37 buildings are to be demolished immediately. 22 of the buildings that are set to be destroyed are EU funded and one of them is a medical clinic which is financially supported by the Italian government. Solar panels, greenhouses and water wells are also set for demolition.

“Every morning we wake up frightened this might be the day that our village is destroyed. We won’t leave though, this is our land,” villager Iyam Nawajah told ITV News.

Israel does not recognize right of Palestinians to live in Susya. “The question is was there ever a village here or in the location that they’ve set up between this ancient town of Susya and the Jewish community of Susya?” Ari Briggs, a Jewish land rights advocate said as cited by ITV News. “That’s never been proven, it can’t be proven,” he added.

source

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance

Posted by on Wednesday, 27 May, 2015
Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein Brussels EU Parliament meeting organised by EUROPAL and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated and Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein, co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated and Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein, co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine :

Martina Anderson MEP  chairs meeting

Martina Anderson MEP chairs meeting

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, current EU Chairperson of the DPLC Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, has said her party will continue to support wider recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Speaking at the EuroPal Forum seminar on The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance, which took place at the European parliament this Tuesday 26th May, along with the chairman of ECCP Mr Pierre Galand and Hamas lawyer in the European court Ms Liliane Glock.

in attendance Mohammed Hamdan of EUROPAL and Gerry MacLochlainn Irish Friends of Palestine

in attendance Mohammed Hamdan of EUROPAL and Gerry MacLochlainn Irish Friends of Palestine

Ms Anderson said; “In November 2014 the European Parliament debated the recognition of Palestine and then passed a joint motion the following month.

“That was part of a broader worldwide trend towards the recognition of Palestine which saw similar motions in Ireland, Britain, Sweden, Spain, France, Portugal and elsewhere.

“These motions are hugely important as the EU itself cannot recognise Palestine, it can only express support.

“The European Parliament motion was, however, a disappointment in our view, as it made recognition of Palestine conditional on a successful agreement with Israel.

“Recognition should not be conditional on anything. In fact, recognition would give Palestine additional leverage in any negotiations with the Israelis.

“We will continue to call on all member states to recognise Palestinian statehood to give further support to the Palestinian people and assist the peace process in the region.”

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated by, and Chaired by Martina Anderson MEP co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated by, and Chaired by Martina Anderson MEP co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

Others in attendance were Irish Friends of Palestine Coordinator and event co-organiser Gerry MacLochlainn, Mohammed Hamdan of EuroPal, Khaled Walid of Europal.

Russell Tribunal on Palestine-GUE/NGL

Posted by on Saturday, 27 September, 2014

RUSSELL TRIBVUNAL

GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias will host the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in the European Parliament on the 25th of September, from 2 to 4pm.

RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE – SPECIAL HEARING 25/9/14

Next Thursday, September 25th, in the European Parliament, GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias will welcome Ken Loach, Roger Waters, Vandana Shiva, David Sheen, Richard Falk, Max Blumenthal, Mohamed Omer and Michael Mansfield, members of the jury of the Tribunal Russell on Palestine, to present the conclusions of the extraordinary session.

The special hearing in the European Parliament will take place from 2 to 4pm in room ASP5G3. Director Ken Loach will open the session and the musician and founder of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, will close it.

According to a press release issued by the Russell Tribunal:

“The Russell Tribunal’s extraordinary session on Gaza will examine Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in July and August of this year.

Human Rights Watch recently accused Israel of committing war crimes in a report analysing three attacks on schools in Jabalya, Beit Hanoun and Rafah. The attacks killed 45 people, including 17 children.

This is not the first time that a human rights probe has made such claims. United Nations and Amnesty International investigations have also found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to the United Nations, 2,131 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s latest 50-day offensive. Of those 501 were children, about 70 per cent of them aged under 12 according to UNICEF.

In the same period, the Ministry of Health in Gaza recorded 10,918 people injured including 3,312 children and 2,120 women. According to the United Nations, 244 schools were shelled and one used as a military base. Al Mezan, a human rights organisation, reported at least 10,920 houses damaged or destroyed of which 2,853 were completely destroyed. Furthermore 161 mosques, eight hospitals – resulting in six being taken out of service, 46 NGO 50 fishing boats, and 244 vehicles were also hit.

The Tribunal will hear evidence from experts and witnesses who were on the ground during the attack including British Channel 4 News journalist Paul Mason on the targeting of school shelters, PCHR Director Raji Sourani on the targeting of civilians, surgeons Mads Gilbert and Mohammed Abou-Arab on the attacks on medical facilities and workers, journalist Martin LeJeune on the targeting of industrial zones and factories, and Ashraf Mashharawi on attacks on government energy and waste infrastructure.”

GUE/NGL press contacts:

Gay Kavanagh + 32 473 842320 gabrielle.kavanagh@europarl.europa.eu
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 646628 gianfranco.battistini@europarl.europa.eu

http://www.guengl.eu/news/article/events/russell-tribunal-on-palestine

Irish Friends of Palestine to Speak at Palestinian Revolutionary Event

Posted by on Thursday, 25 September, 2014

Irish Friends of Palestine will be taking part in the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform Event this weekend in London. Seating is first come first served so get there early! An amazing array of guest speakers in the lineup, Leila Khaled, George Galloway MP, political activist Ghada Al-Najjar from Gaza, Fouad Shaat, Sami Ramadani, and many many more!! This is the pro-resistance solidarity event for Gaza and Palestine, the event will celebrate the Palestinian Revolution, explore its challenges, and there will live link up from Gaza, plus slide shows, music and poetry. The event will be this Sunday at the Flyover, 3-5 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL, Ladbroke Grove from 2:30PM to 6:00PM. Get there early to not be disappointed as there is limited seating. Find the event on Facebook HERE and details can also be found on the Irish Friends of Palestine Facebook page HERE

Speakers list:

Leila Khaled
– Legendary Palestinian revolutionary, PFLP Polit Buro member and Palestinian National Council representative. Khaled was born in Haifa, British Palestine. Khaled’s family fled to Lebanon during the 1948 Palestinian exodus, leaving her father behind. At the age of 15, following in the footsteps of her brother, she joined the pan-Arab Nationalist Movement. The Palestinian branch of this movement later became the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Khaled is wary of the Arab-Israeli peace process. According to her,

“It’s not a peace process. It’s a political process where the balance of forces is for the Israelis and not for us. They have all the cards to play with and the Palestinians have nothing to depend on, especially when the PLO is not united.

In 2005 she was a speaker at the Féile an Phobail in Belfast via video link.

Gerry MacLochlainn
– from Irish Friends of Palestine, Via Wikipedia: a Former Irish Prisoner of War in England, former Sinn Fein councillor in Derry who co-led the ECESG convoy, which was the 2nd convoy into Gaza after Operation Cast Led in 2009. The convoy delivered 25 ambulances and tons of medical aid along with hospital equipment. A strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, MacLochlainn was one of the leaders of the campaign against the Israeli embargo of Gaza. In 2009 he proposed and gained acceptance of a city policy of a boycott of Israeli goods until an end to the embargo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_MacLochlainn

George Galloway MP
– the Respect Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Bradford West. Galloway is a campaigner who supports the Palestinian side of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, taking an anti-Zionist stance, and was involved in the Viva Palestina aid convoys to Gaza.

Dr Saeb Sha’ath
– Former head of the Palestine General Delegation to Ireland , author and Palestinian political activist. Dr Shaath spoke at the GAZA SPEAKS event we organised in 2010 you can learn more about him at our Gaza event link HERE

Ghada Al-Najjar
– Palestinian in Gaza, political activist and Gaza-wide relief worker

Fouad Shaat
– President of General Union of Palestinian Students in Britain

Shadia Mansour
– Palestinian singer and musician her website can be found HERE Mansour began rapping in 2003 and has gained recognition in the Middle East, Europe and the United States for her own songs and collaborations with other artists. She performs wearing a traditional Palestinian thawb and has said that she considers herself to be part of a “musical intifada” against the occupation of Palestine

– Dr Abdal Aziz
– Libyan Al-Jud Charity

Sami Ramadani
– Steering committee member of Stop the War Coalition

George Shire
– Veteran of the Zimbabwean struggle against white settler colonalism, and independent radical scholar

Brother Omawale
– Pan-African Community Society Forum

Malia Bouattia
– President of NUS Black Students

Carlos Martinez
– Invent the Future and Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform

Marcel Cartier
– Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform

Chaired by Sukant Chandan
– Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform

More speakers and artists etc to be announced.

Entry is £5 on the door. Capacity is approx 120 people, first come first serve. Sharp start for no later than 3pm.

This event is organised by the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform and Invent the Future

Announcing New Freedom Flotilla to Sail to Gaza

Posted by on Tuesday, 12 August, 2014

Freedom Flotilla Coalition Press Conference - Istanbul

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition to Sail to Gaza Again:
Responding to the Israeli aggression and the complicity of world governments

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) met in Istanbul in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza. We have watched atrocities being committed against an already besieged population. In the two day meeting (August 10th and 11th), the FFC concluded that it is the responsibility of civil society worldwide to sail to Gaza and challenge the Israeli blockade, the source of most problems facing the Palestinian population of Gaza.

We plan to sail to Gaza during 2014, the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/solidarity.htm?OpenForm

This initiative, following in the footsteps of the 2010 and 2011 flotillas as well as other attempts to challenge the blockade of Gaza (between 2008 and 2014), is expected to include a wider and more diverse international participation. This new flotilla is a reflection of the growing worldwide solidarity with the Palestinian people; from the US to Malaysia, from Scandinavia to South Africa.

“Calls to end the blockade of Gaza need to move from words to actions,” said Ann Ighe, chairperson of Ship to Gaza Sweden and member of the FFC. We invite all interested citizens worldwide to participate in this initiative in any way you can.”
These boats are also expected to carry Palestinian commercial products purchased by buyers worldwide to complete the work of Gaza’s Ark, the cargo boat built by the Palestinians and the FFC in Gaza and was bombed by Israel on July 11th.

“We urge all governments to defend Human Rights and the right of the Palestinian people to freedom of movement, to facilitate the sailing of our ships to Gaza. It is their responsibility,” added Ehab Lotayef of the coalition.
In addition to sailing to Gaza, the FFC will organize demonstrations at sea and in ports worldwide over the next months. Along with other projects, the initiative will support the right of Palestinians to operate international marine lines in and out of the port of Gaza.

We support the Palestinian demand to open the port of Gaza to international marine traffic. The FFC also will work on twinning ports in the Mediterranean and beyond, with Gaza City, as a sign of solidarity and support.

Finally, we assert that all that we do is peaceful, civil society driven non-governmental actions.

Freedom Flotilla Coalition members:
European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza
Freedom Flotilla Italia
Gaza’s Ark
IHH
International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG)
Rumbo a Gaza
Ship to Gaza Greece
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden

also participating in the project:
Palestine Solidarity Alliance – South Africa
Free Gaza
Haluan Palestin – Malaysia
Life Line to Gaza – Jordan
Miles of Smiles
Sahabat Al-Aqsha – Malaysia

Irish Friends of Palestine Issues Statement for Mobilization

Posted by on Friday, 18 July, 2014

A Day at the Beach in Gaza....

The Israeli ground assault on the people of Gaza is the latest crime against a trapped people in an open air prison who have been confined, denied food or medicine and other everyday necessities and periodically bombed by one of the largest and best equipped armies in the world.

Sinead MacLochlainn Founder of Irish Friends of Palestine speaking today said:

“For many years we in Irish Friends of Palestine have worked to mitigate the suffering caused by the Siege of Gaza and to support Palestinian freedom. During that time, Irish Friends of Palestine and many other groups have been able to call on huge support from the Irish people.”

“In recent days we have seen in all parts of Ireland, on street corners, public squares and even on the floor of Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament) the Irish people have spoken out again to condemn Israeli atrocities.”

“But tonight, Israel has stepped up its violence, it has unleashed a massive firestorm on the people of Gaza. We all need to step up our response.”

“Regular people ask “What can we do?” The answer is we should all immediately commit ourselves to active full support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign against the Zionists regime.

People have a natural “want” to give, when they see Palestinians suffering. The truth is if you ask Palestinians what they want, they want the blockade lifted. Giving aid won’t lift the blockade, given the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza it’s a drop in the bucket. However, there is a much greater tool we have. Capable of forcing the Israelis to end their apartheid nature and to lift the siege can actually come about with world solidarity in support of the BDS campaign. Let us in Ireland support this.

BDS brought down the old Apartheid South African regime and it can bring down the Apartheid Israeli Regime as well and open the gates of Rafah. When regular people see the name “Made in Israel” and they immediately drop that package back onto the shelf, or go to the Manager and tell them to stop stocking Israel goods and explains why, that is when we can make a real and lasting difference for the people of Palestine.”

So in the coming days let’s do what we can.

Wherever we have an audience – let us tell them about Palestine including our friends…

Wherever we have influence – let us encourage others to join the BDS Campaign.

“We can all contact elected representatives and demand that they work to remove the special trading arrangements that Israel is given by the European Union.”

“We should demand our Government take action against those Israeli Intelligence agencies who stole Irish passports and used them to commit the extra-judicial murder of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, in Dubai.”

“We should all demand that our law enforcement agencies immediately arrest any Israeli who sets foot on Irish soil who has participated in war crimes such as the targeting of children as they play on a beach or the bombing of hospitals like El Wafa.”

“Remember, we all have a role to play; As a great Irishman said: ” No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.”

ENDS

Fulla Shuhaibar (10) Jihad Shuhaibar (8) and Waseem Shuhaibar (7) Killed by israel today

Martina Anderson MEP Meets CEPR and Former Hungerstriker Mahmoud Sarsak

Posted by on Tuesday, 9 April, 2013

Martina Anderson MEP and other Members of the EU Parliament have held meetings with the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) and former Palestinian Hungerstriker and footbal legend Mahmoud Sarsak.

The CEPR along with Mahmoud Sarsek are continuing efforts to highlight the issue of the Palestinian prisoners at the European political level. Several meetings were organised with the European Parliament to discuss the suffering of the prisoners including the harsh conditions they face inside the occupation prisons. Dr. Arafat Shoukri of the CEPR said “It was an excellent response of European Representatives and they promised to continue to defend the issue of prisoners. The European parliament issued a statement supporting the demands of the prisoners three weeks ago.”

Sarsak was arrested on 22 July 2009 at the Erez Crossing, while travelling between his home in Gaza and the West Bank to link up with his new club Balata Youth in Balata Sarsak was held for three years without formal charges and spent three months on hunger strike prior to his release.

Martina Anderson MEP pictured to the left of Mahmoud Sarsak along with other European Left Alliance (GUE/NGL) members in Brussels and Dr Arafat Shoukari of the CEPR

Irish MEP’s Join EU Parliament Protest Against Shimon Peres Visit

Posted by on Tuesday, 12 March, 2013

Irish MEP's Martina Anderson and Paul Murphy join other MEP's attending protest against Shimon Peres at the EU Parliament

MEP Martina Anderson today participated in a protest at the European Parliament against a visit by Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres. Ms Anderson also co-signed a motion strongly condemning the death of Palestinian, Arafat Jaradat during interrogation in Israeli cells.

Speaking from Brussels today Martina Anderson said: “I would like to echo the strong sentiment contained in the motion and offer my deepest condolences to Arafat Jaradat’s family; “The motion, as well as condemning Arafat Jaradat’s death, also highlights the deplorable conditions of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention, and demonstrates Israel’s disregard of international conventions, including those which it is a signatory to. “We are calling for the international community as a matter of urgency to assume its political, legal and moral responsibilities to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. It also calls on those States that subscribe to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligation to ensure Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law. “We are also insisting on the implementation by Israel of Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and that Israel, as the occupying power, comply with international humanitarian law, in particular its provisions concerning the protection of civilians living under occupation. “No upgrading of EU-Israel relations should be considered unless Israel complies with its obligations under international law, notably human rights and humanitarian law.”

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

Posted by on Tuesday, 5 March, 2013

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