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Senator Frances Black Launches Occupied

Territories Bill 2018

January 22, 2018

Independent Senator Frances Black has today launched

the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill
2018, which is scheduled for debate in Seanad Éireann on
Tuesday 30th January 2018.

The bill seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services
and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied
territories. Such settlements are illegal under both international
humanitarian law and domestic Irish law, and result in human
rights violations on the ground. Despite this, Ireland provides
continued economic support through trade in settlement goods.

The legislation has been prepared with the support of Trócaire,

Christian-Aid and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and
applies to settlements in occupied territories where there is clear
international legal consensus that they violate international law.
The clearest current example is the Israeli occupation and
expansion of settlements in the Palestinian ‘West Bank’, which
have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the
International Court of Justice and the Irish Government.

Speaking in advance of the bill’s introduction, Senator Black


“This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable

people – it is about respecting international law and refusing to
support illegal activity and human suffering.
 I have long been
passionate about the struggle of the Palestinian people, which
shows clearly how trade in settlement goods sustains injustice. In
the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their
homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables
produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all. We
condemn the settlements as illegal but support them economically.
As international law is absolutely clear that the settlements are
illegal, then the goods they produce are the proceeds of crime. We
must face up to this – we cannot keep supporting breaches of
international law and violations of human rights.

Six years ago the Government criticised the ‘relentless progress’ of

Israeli settlements, and said they could seek an EU ban on
settlement goods if matters continued to worsen. In years since
then it has only gone one way, with settlements expanding, more
Palestinian homes being demolished and land being confiscated.
It’s clear that empty promises have not worked but nothing has
been done. Ireland needs to show leadership and act. 
 This bill
gives us a chance to do that, and I’m looking forward to the debate
next week. I’m calling on all Senators to give this legislation their
full support.”

The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 will be debated at Second

Stage in Seanad Éireann on Tuesday, January 30th 2018 4.45-
6.45pm and will be streamed live on Oireachtas TV. It has been
co-signed by Seanad Civil Engagement Group Senators Alice-
Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Grace O'Sullivan, Colette Kelleher and
John Dolan, as well as Senator David Norris.

A copy of the bill is available here: Occupied Territories Bill 2018
A short explanatory note on the bill’s main provisions is available
here: Briefing Note - Occupied Territories Bill 2018

For any questions contact Senator Black's Oireachtas office on

016183279 or email

Israeli settlements in occupied territories

Tue, Jan 30, 2018,

Sir, – We, concerned citizens of Israel, are writing to you regarding the Control of Economic
Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, which was brought to our attention and which is due
to be debated in Seanad Éireann on January 30th.

We urge Ireland to support any legislation that will help enforce differentiation between
Israel per se and the settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East

The Israeli occupation of the territories beyond the 1967 borders, ongoing for more than 50
years with no end in sight, is not only unjust but also stands in violation of numerous UN
resolutions. UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23rd, 2016, adopted 14:1 by
the Security Council (the US abstained), calls for the international community to differentiate
between its relations with Israel per se within its 1967 borders and its dealings with the Israeli
settlements in the occupied territories.

We are convinced that Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian land in the West Bank
and East Jerusalem is morally and strategically unsustainable, is detrimental to peace, and
poses a threat to the security of Israel itself.

It has been enabled by the leniency of the international community, whose rhetoric regarding
the dire situation in Palestine has not been matched by appropriate action.

While Ireland, along with the rest of the EU, considers the occupation illegal, it continues to
economically sustain it by trading with illegal Israeli settlements established in clear and
direct violation of international law. The occupation has been correctly identified by
successive Irish governments as a major obstacle to peace, which we believe remains
attainable should we see the termination of the occupation and the realization of the two-state
paradigm that would lead to the emergence of a sovereign State of Palestine alongside Israel.

It is clear to us that genuine reconciliation between Israel and Palestine, Israelis and
Palestinians, is possible only if the paradigm of two separate and independent states prevails.

As people who care deeply for Israel’s future and long for our country to live in peace with its
neighbours, we urge you to support the aforementioned Bill. – Yours, etc,


Former member
of Knesset, Sheli Party;


Former ambassador

to France;


ambassador to South Africa,

Namibia, Botswana

and Zimbabwe;


Former attorney-general

of Israel; former acting

supreme court justice;


Former member of Knesset,

Meretz Party;


Former speaker of the

Knesset, Labor Party,

Former chairman of the

Jewish Agency

for Israel;


former member of Knesset,

Meretz Party, former

president, New Israel Fund;

YAEL DAYAN, former

member of Knesset,

Labor Party, former

deputy mayor of Tel Aviv;


former head of the Israeli

Civil Service Commission,

professor emeritus at the

Hebrew University

of Jerusalem;


ambassador to the

Czech Republic;


vice-president, Israel

Academy of Sciences

and Humanities, computer

scientist, Israel Prize

recipient (2004) and

EMET Prize laureate (2010);


Israel Prize recipient (1977);


EMET Prize laureate (2011);


photojournalist, Israel

Prize recipient (2005);

Dr ALON LIEL, former

director general of

Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

former ambassador to South

Africa and Turkey;



Filmmaker, Israel Prize

recipient (2009);


former member of Knesset,

Labor Party;


Political scientist,

Israel Prize recipient (2008);


Designer, Israel Prize

recipient (2002).
#Israel inciting other countries to breach international law
LPHR urgent letter to FCO: 16 year old human
rights defender, Ahed Tamimi, and her mother
Nariman Tamimi, arrested and detained on 19
December 2017

I'm live on AlJazeera TV at one o'clock today, Jan 13, and probably every hour on the hour as
before but this time I'll be talking about this new image of 15 year old Ahed Tamimi in the hope
that this exposure will stop the Israeli IDF/SS killing her. PS. Free usage. RT RT RT
Sourani Receives Irish
Foreign Affairs Minister
Ref: 02/2018

Sourani Receives Irish Foreign Affairs Minister http://

On Thursday morning, 11 January 2018, the

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received
the Deputy Prime Minister; Minister for Foreign Affairs
and Trade, Simon Coveney; and the accompanying
delegation from the Ministry and Irish Consulate
General in Jerusalem. The visiting delegation was
received by Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director; Iyad Alami,
PCHR’s Deputy Director for Legal Affairs; and Mona
Shawa, Head of PCHR’s Women’s Unit. The meeting
was also attended by the Head of the Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in
Gaza, Neil Tobin.
Sourani thanked the Minister and the accompanying
delegation for this meaningful visit. He also expresses
the appreciation of PCHR, human rights and civil
society organizations in Palestine for this generous
gesture, which comes in support of the Palestinian
civil society, specifically the human rights
organizations that defend the historic injustice to the
Palestinian people.

Moreover, Sourani expressed his appreciation for the

human and moral positions of the Irish Government in
support of the Palestinian people’s struggle to end the
Israeli occupation and their inalienable rights. Sourani
praised the Irish Government’s position from the US
President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, and
its principled position from respecting international
law and international humanitarian law. He added that
the Irish Government’s positions have always been
consistent with the law. Sourani also pointed out that
the Palestinian people were inspired by the struggle of
the Irish people against the occupation.
During the meeting, Sourani stressed the importance
of the role played by the Irish government in
encouraging other countries, especially in the
European Union (EU), to end the Israeli serious
violations and the military occupation, and enable the
Palestinian people to practice their right to self-
Sourani clarified for the visiting delegation the work of
the Palestinian human rights organizations before the
International Criminal Court, in light of the failure of
the Israeli courts to prosecute Israeli war criminals,
who committed crimes against Palestinian civilians. He
also explained the PCHR’s ongoing efforts to promote
human rights and rule of law in the Palestinian
Authority controlled areas.
Sourani reviewed the catastrophic consequences of
the illegal and inhuman closure imposed on the Gaza
Strip for 11 years and called for not acknowledging it
as a de facto but continuing to fight for completely
ending it and its catastrophic consequences.
Sourani expressed his deep concern that there are no
prospects for the end of the Palestinian division. He
added that this is unwarranted and incomprehensible
and gives Israel further excuses to deny the
Palestinian people’s rights, emphasizing that the
ongoing division would significantly attenuate our fight
with the Israeli occupation.
Sourani stressed that the difficult humanitarian
conditions in Gaza will not drive the free people of the
world to despair and surrendering. He added that
those peoples under occupation shall not be good
victims. He also pointed out that the Palestinian
people are meant to recruit the international law and
international human rights law in defending their
cause, and they always win this battle that shows
their moral, legal and human superiority over the
The visiting Minister professed his shock at the
catastrophic economic and humanitarian conditions
comparing with what he saw in his first visit to the
Gaza Strip 15 years ago. He also said that he is fully
convinced that the situation in the Gaza strip will not
get better without completely ending the closure. He
added that continuing to have such a situation in the
Gaza Strip is an unhealthy atmosphere that would
lead to dangerous consequences, emphasizing that
Gaza is not in need for a forth war. The Minister
stressed that the Irish Government is still willing to
support the civil and governmental society individually
and in the same time in cooperation with their
partners in the European Union.
The Head of OHCHR in Gaza addressed the dramatic
conditions in the Gaza Strip and praised the great
cooperation between PCHR and civil society
organizations and the OHCHR. He emphasized that
there is a serious attempt to stigmatize the prestige
and credibility of these organizations. He also praised
the credibility, independence, and professionalism of
these Palestinian organizations and is honored to work
and support them.

At the end
of the meeting, Sourani delivered PCHR’s honor
emblem to the Irish Minister.
Lorde cancels Tel Aviv concert after appeals for her to respect the Palestinian boycott call