DUBLIN, Thursday, May 27, 2021 (WAFA) – Ireland has become the first EU country to condemn Israeli colonial settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank as ‘de facto annexation’ after the Irish parliament Wednesday night passed a motion in this regard.
According to the Irish Central, the motion, tabled by the opposition Sinn Fein party, was passed unanimously on Wednesday after receiving cross-party support.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday that the motion “is a clear signal of the depth of feeling across Ireland”.
“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.”
“We need to call it out for what it is. It is de facto annexation,” Coveney, of the centre-right Fine Gael party, told parliament.
“This is not something that I, or in my view this house, says lightly. We are the first EU state to do so. But it reflects the huge concern we have about the intent of the actions and of course, their impact,” he said.
After the motion was passed on Wednesday, Sinn Féin TD Brady said: “Tonight, the Irish people have secured a historic victory for the people of Palestine.
“The decision by the members of the Dáil to vote to accept the Sinn Féin motion on annexation is a sure reflection of the strength of feeling that runs in this country a/t the treatment of the Palestinian people by the apartheid state of Israel.
“Ireland now stands as the first country in Europe to categorically state without equivocation that Israel has carried out the crime of annexation in the occupied Palestinian Territories."
Brady added: “The Irish people have pushed the government over the line. The recognition that de facto annexation has taken place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is now the formal position of Ireland.
“The Irish people, through the Dáil, have stated that Israel is guilty of the crime of annexation.
“The significance of the victory in getting the Irish government to acknowledge that annexation has taken place is enormous.
“It is now incumbent upon the Irish government to accept the imprimatur of the Irish people and take this motion and press for action in the EU, and for action on the UN Security Council on this issue.
He continued: “The Irish government must act to introduce the Occupied Territories Bill. It must recognise the state of Palestine.
“It must ensure that Israel is held accountable for its action by the international community.
“Hopefully, other countries can follow Ireland’s lead, and take this motion as a template to use in their own parliaments.”
Mary Lou McDonald, the President of Sinn Féin, said afterward: “We condemn the illegal and ongoing annexation, the illegal seizure of Palestinian land by the Israeli occupier.”