(23 November 2018) PHROC: Palestinian NGOs Call on Irish Senators to continue their Support for the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018

PR/EN/231118/35
 
 

23 November 2018

Re: Palestinian NGOs Call on Irish Senators to continue their Support for the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018

 
A Dhuine Uasail, Seanadóirí  na hÉireann,
 
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) wish to thank Members of the Seanad for their support of the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 which seeks to prohibit the import of unlawful settlement goods and provision of services into Ireland. PHROC wishes to stress the importance of continued support for the Bill by Members of the Seanad and Dáil.
 
The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory has reached a dangerous crossroads. Significantly, on 24 May 2018, Israel escalated its settlement expansion and colonization of the West Bank, advancing plans for the construction of 3,900 new settler housing units. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu approved the policy stating “we are continuing the momentum to develop settlements in Judea and Samaria by authorizing thousands of new homes…In the near future we will approve additional units.”[1] Israel’s settlement enterprise is sustained by the presence of Israeli and international companies who operate on unlawfully appropriated Palestinian land, and profit from the exploitation of Palestinian natural and national resources, acts which may amount to the aiding and abetting in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
 
Israel’s unlawful settlement enterprise has been condemned by the United Nations Security Council in resolution 2334, which calls on “all States…to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” PHROC believes that the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 is a historic step in that Ireland will be the first State to implement their obligations under international law and prohibit the import of unlawful settlement goods. These obligations are enshrined in Irish domestic law under the Geneva Conventions Act, 1962 and International Criminal Court Act, 2001. Moreover, the Bill will encourage business respect for human rights in all areas of occupation, and, within the context of the OPT, the Bill’s implementation will be facilitated by the United Nations OHCHR forthcoming publication of a Database of companies with business operations in or relationships with the settlements.
 
PHROC urges your continued support for the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, to contribute to conditions of peace and justice in Palestine on the basis of international law.
 
Le Meas,
 

[1] Jerusalem Post, Tovah lazaroff, “Israel to advance plans for 3,900 West Bank settler homes” Jerusalem Post (24 May 2018).