Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has sharply criticised the US government after it announced that it would no longer consider Israel’s illegal colonial settlements in occupied Palestine as ‘inconsistent’ with international law.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“International law is extremely clear on this issue. Israel’s colonial settlements in occupied Palestine are illegal under international law. There is no legal nuance on this, they are in clear contravention of international law.
“Israel has illegally built thousands of these colonial settlements on stolen Palestinian land and over 600,000 illegal colonial settlers live in them. This violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its population to the area it occupies.
“This US change of position will have a destabilising effect on the region, it is dangerous and morally and legally wrong.
“The Irish government needs to robustly challenge the US government’s support for Israel’s repeated violations of international law and Israel’s apartheid regime in Palestine.
“I believe the Irish government must now respond 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.
“I believe the 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.
“This would send a strong message to the US and Israeli governments that Ireland will not ignore the illegality of Israel’s colonial settlements in Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people under Israel’s apartheid regime.”