Bacik Calls for Inclusion of Occupied Territories Bill in Programme for Government

27 May 2020

Ivana Bacik

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has called on parties currently engaged in government formation talks to ensure that the passage of the Occupied Territories Bill (2018) is included in any programme for government negotiated.

Speaking on the matter, Senator Bacik said:

“The Labour Party has been clear in its continued support for the Occupied Territories Bill throughout its passage through the Oireachtas so far. I  welcome indications from the Green Party and Fianna Fáil representatives that they hope to include the enactment of the Bill in a programme for government, and I am calling on them to honour this commitment.

“With reports this week that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might plan to begin the annexation of the West Bank as early as this July, there is a need to place the Occupied Territories Bill back on the political agenda as a matter of urgency. What the Israeli Government appears to be proposing is illegal under international law and would significantly diminish any hope of a peaceful two-state solution.

“The Occupied Territories Bill, which was proposed by Senator Frances Black in the Seanad and which would ban the importation and sale of goods from illegal settlements, received strong support from Labour, the Green Party, Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and many Independents. The Fine Gael-led Government’s decision to block the Bill last year was as concerning as it was disappointing. Current government formation talks present an opportunity for allies of Palestine to ensure that the overwhelming cross-party support received by the Bill is recognised by its inclusion in the next programme for government.

“The international community has a responsibility to prevent the Israeli government from flouting international law with impunity. Ireland can be a world leader in standing up for the rights of Palestinian people if the political will to do so exists. The Occupied Territories Bill must become law without further delay.”