Show Solidarity with Palestine
Petition: Call on the Government of Ireland to enact the Occupied Territories Bill
In May 2021, Ireland became the first EU country to recognise the “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land. Despite this important step, Ireland is still trading with settlements that are illegal under international law.
Actions speak louder than words.
Enacting the Occupied Territories Bill would make Ireland the first EU country to ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. Trading with these illegal settlements not only makes their existence financially viable but this double standard threatens our international reputation as a country that values human rights and peacekeeping.
These settlements are illegal under international and EU law because they are built on land outside Israel’s internationally recognised borders. Palestinians are evicted from their homes and forcibly removed from their land to make way for these illegal settlements.
ActionAid Ireland, along with a growing number of Irish civil society organisations, including Christian Aid Ireland, Trócaire, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Sadaka, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) and Amnesty Ireland, all urgently call on the Irish Government to act on this important piece of legislation.
A strong majority of TDs and Senators in the Dáil and Seanad voted to pass the Bill in recent years, but the Irish Government is refusing to take the final step and fully pass it. Sign this urgent petition now.
Dear Minister Coveney,
I am calling on the Irish Government, and you as Minister, to promptly enact the Occupied Territories Bill.
The Occupied Territories Bill differentiates between Israel and the illegal settlements in the West Bank. According to the European Union, Israeli settlements in the West Bank are “illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible”. Despite denouncing these illegal settlements as “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land, Ireland continues to trade with them. Not only does this make their existence financially viable but this double standard approach threatens our international reputation as a country that values human rights and peacekeeping.
Ireland must uphold the rule of international law and justice, even if it means standing alone at first.
Ultimately, it is solidarity actions – and not only words – that will help the Palestinian people achieve peace, justice, and freedom.
Sign the Petition!
Urgently sign our petition to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney today.
More information on the Occupied Territories Bill:
The Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 is proposed legislation, which if enacted, would ban trade between Ireland and Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank.
The Bill was introduced by independent Senator Frances Black. The Bill was passed in full by Seanad Éireann in 2018 and passed its first vote in Dáil Éireann in early 2019. It was then sent for detailed scrutiny by the Oireachtas Select Committee on Foreign & Affairs and Trade, which also voted in favour of the Bill.
If enacted, the legislation would apply to territories where there is a clear international legal consensus on the status of the occupation. Right now, only the occupied Palestinian territories have been confirmed as occupied by the International Court of Justice. However, this Bill allows for other territories to be included so long as there is consensus between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and both Houses of the Oireachtas.
The legal basis of the Bill and its permissibility under EU law is confirmed by two formal legal opinions: the first from Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel in Ireland, and the second from Professor James Crawford of the University of Cambridge, Senior Counsel in the UK and one of the most eminent authorities on international law worldwide. Although trade rules are generally uniform across all EU member states, exceptions are granted where they can be justified “on grounds of public morality, public policy or public security, and the protection of health and life of humans”.
The Bill was drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor (OPLA) of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Sign the open letter by adding your name and email address to our petition and your email will be sent directly to Minister Coveney.