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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Situation in Israel and Palestine, including the settlements (debate)

  Grace O’Sullivan, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, the Trump administration’s move to recognise the illegal settlements in the West Bank is just the latest in a litany of deeply destructive interventions from a government that seems determined to wreck any chance of peace. By recognising the illegal settlements, the United States has once again put itself outside the norms of international law. It has supported those that seek to ensure that any future Palestinian state would be unviable.

Israel’s right to exist is beyond debate. Any country’s right to illegally occupy territory seized in military conflicts is not beyond debate. There are differing views, I know, across the Chamber in regard to this conflict, but I believe there is a common wish to see a lasting peaceful solution that represents both sides. Each step along the road to occupation and annexation is a step away from a stable two-state agreement. What does it mean for the EU? Firstly, we know that the US has not been, and will not be, a reliable partner in this process while the current administration is in place. The EU is therefore the leading world power interested in promoting a lasting solution for the region and willing to act as an honest broker between peace-seeking elements in both governments.

Secondly, we need to consider how we as an economic union can influence the situation. I do not, and will not, support the BDS Movement but, nor can I support the economic activities taking place on stolen land in contravention of international law. In the Irish Senate I supported a bill from my colleague Senator Frances Black to prohibit goods from illegal settlements being imported into Ireland, a measure that would only have called on the Irish Government to make real its commitment to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

Currently goods grown or produced in illegal settlements in the West Bank are being imported into the EU as part of a trade agreement with Israel that does not extend to the territories. I would ask you to consider how, and why, that is allowed to continue?

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