Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has condemned Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest inflammatory statement that he intends to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week’s general election in Israel. Crowe called for the Irish government to urgently recognise the State of Palestine and support the passing of the Occupied Territories Bill.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a blatant attempt to win the votes of illegal Israeli colonial settlers, outlined on Israeli TV that he plans to illegally annex almost 30% of the occupied West Bank in Palestine if he wins the election on 17 September.

“Netanyahu is saying in public what we already knew – he wants to destroy any attempt to create a two state solution and to deepen Israeli apartheid rule in Palestine.

“Since he became Prime Minister Israel has massively increased illegal settlement building in Palestine. He has repeatedly ignored international law and oversees the daily violation of the human rights of Palestinians. This strategy to illegally annex the Jordan Valley will be strongly resisted and create further conflict.

“To date the Irish government has failed to robustly challenge Israel’s repeated violations of international law and it’s apartheid regime in Palestine.

“The Irish government must now respond to Netanyahu’s reckless and illegal strategy by abiding by the Dáil motion that called on the Irish government to formally recognise the State of Palestine, which was unanimously passed in 2014.

“Tánaiste Simon Coveney should also end the government’s opposition to the Occupied Territories Bill, which would make trade with illegal settlements a criminal offence in Ireland. He must work with all the other parties in the Dáil who support the Bill to ensure it is urgently passed and made law.”