Seanad passes Civil Engagement Group motion calling for immediate action on Palestine

Palestine Protest Leinster House
Palestine Protest Leinster House

A motion tabled by the Civil Engagement Group calling for immediate and urgent Government action on Gaza successfully passed the Seanad this evening unopposed. 

The motion, from Senators Frances Black, Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane and Eileen Flynn, calls on the Government to end their blockage of the Occupied Territories Bill, support the South African ICJ case, press for suspension of EU-Israel trade, recognise the State of Palestine, and ensure that no munitions are being transferred to Israel via Ireland.

Currently 25% of Israel’s exports are to the European Union and Israel enjoys preferential access to the European Market under the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The motion calls on the Irish Government to press not just for a review but for suspension of the Agreement on human rights grounds,

The motion also calls on the Council of the European Union to advocate for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on Israel, and to substantially increase levels of humanitarian aid to Palestine, including the restoration of funding for UNWRA.

Welcoming the Government's decision not to oppose the motion, and the support from both opposition and Government Senators. the CEG Senators affirmed that now is the time for urgent action - business as usual cannot continue.

Speaking after the debate, Senator Frances Black thanked her colleagues across the House, stating: “The Seanad tonight sent a clear and resolute message that the Irish Government must be braver. Our words of condemnation are not enough, we must take strong and swift action given the scale of death and destruction we are observing in Gaza.”

“Gaza is now a graveyard for children. The people of Palestine, who are enduring unimaginable torture, deprivation and cruelty, need more than empty words of consolation. They need action. They need real tangible solidarity; nothing else will do.”

 Senator Alice-Mary Higgins said: "This motion is a mandate for action. It calls on the Irish Government to pass the Occupied Territories Bill, press for immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, recognise the State of Palestine, support South Africa in the ICJ case and ensure no weapons are passing through Ireland to Israel" 

 "We have seen the bravery of the doctors, mothers and children of Gaza in the face of unspeakable suffering and cruelty, Its time for Ireland to be braver and reflect tonight’s message from the Seanad and the Irish people’s commitment to peace, human rights and international law.”

Senator Eileen Flynn said: “We would not accept the killing of over 10,000 children in any EU country and we cannot accept it in Gaza. Our motion tonight is a reminder that human rights have to be for everyone and it shows real solidarity for the people of Palestine.

 The motion was also tabled by Senator Lynn Ruane who was today speaking on the need for an immediate ceasefire at a meeting of the OSCE Young Parliamentarians.

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