DUBLIN, Wednesday, May 26, 2021 (WAFA) – Ireland’s government Tuesday supported a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation” of Palestinian lands by Israel in what it said was the first use of the phrase by a European Union government in relation to Israel.
Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, who has represented Ireland on the United Nations Security Council in debates on Israel in recent weeks, supported the motion and condemned what he described as Israel’s “manifestly unequal” treatment of the Palestinian people.
“The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground... It is de facto annexation,” Coveney told parliament.
There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law and are viewed as key obstacle to peace.
The number of settlers has almost tripled since the Oslo Accords of 1993, when settlers’ number estimated 252,000. Illegal colonial settlements have leapt from 144 to 515 in that time.
Israel’s nation-state law states that building and strengthening the settlements is a “national interest.”