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Statement from Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD on recent developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The events we have witnessed in recent weeks in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory are alarming and are a direct consequence of the failure to address the root causes driving the conflict.


The shocking use of violence, dangerous and provocative rhetoric, and measures which are clearly contrary to international law, will only lead us further away from a negotiated peace, based on a two-State solution. 


I welcome the Israeli and Palestinian commitments made at Aqaba on 26 February and Sharm El-Sheikh on 19 March to pursue actions to de-escalate the current cycles of violence and move towards peaceful settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. However, we must see credible and urgent actions to fulfil these. In the strongest possible terms, I reject recent comments made by Minister Bezalel Smotrich on the Palestinian people, which are inflammatory and amount to an incitement to violence. The parties should urgently focus on the easing of tensions as the religious holidays of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter coincide in the coming weeks. 


I am deeply alarmed by the ongoing violence in occupied Palestinian territory. I condemn all violence against civilians, including acts of terrorism in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The increase in settler violence in recent months has resulted in appalling intimidation and destruction, including the disturbing events in Huwara in the West Bank. Israel is the occupying power; it must abide by its obligations under international law. I call on Israel to investigate these incidents thoroughly and ensure accountability.


I am particularly concerned by the legislation this week regarding settlements in the northern West Bank. Settlements are illegal under international law and Israel must not make any provision to advance settlement authorisation and development.


Respect for international law, and in particular the UN Charter, is the bedrock of international peace and security. This will continue to be the guiding principle for Ireland’s approach, and it is the only way to ensure the long-term security of both Israelis and Palestinians.