Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed tonight’s Committee Stage passage of the ‘Occupied Territories Bill’ in the Seanad.
Speaking after the decisive vote in favour of the pioneering legislation, Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile commented:
“This Bill has a noble and just aim. It seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories. It is not extreme. It only seeks to establish a legal framework to ban these imports from settlements which are already illegal under international humanitarian law and, most importantly, domestic law in this state.
“I am delighted at tonight’s vote (Tá 30 – Níl 13) but it is to the Government and Fine Gael’s shame that they oppose this progressive and human rights based legislation.
“As long as we continue to hand the Israeli Government impunity to impose apartheid, continue its illegal occupation, and violate international law they will never make the necessary compromises to create a just and lasting peace settlement.
“The Irish Government has to give a strong and unambiguous statement that there can be no impunity for Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.
“Nothing is going to change in Gaza or the West Bank until the international community move on from empty rhetoric and actually put some real pressure on Israel.
“The Government has got to stop sitting on the side-lines wringing its hands. When real, concrete, tangible steps are proposed, the Government is afraid to show leadership.
“Ireland’s proud record in standing against apartheid and inspiring others to do likewise must prevail.”