LABOUR CALLS FOR FORMAL RECOGNITION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE
AGREES TO INITIATE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON PLIGHT OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN ISRAELI CUSTODY
At its meeting on Saturday 25 March the Central Council of the Labour Party approved the following motion unanimously for debate at our National Conference in April in Wexford.
That conference recognising the rights of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood, calls on the PLP to introduce the necessary measures in the Dáil to effect full recognition for the State of Palestine by the Irish Government.
Secondly, Conference agrees that the Party should initiate an international campaign to highlight the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons under military law and military courts.
Seventy per cent of the 193 UN Member States and one third of the EU countries have already given recognition to the State of Palestine. While the Dáil has discussed the issue, no vote has taken place and it is important that all political parties speak with one voice on the issue of statutory recognition for the State of Palestine.
Secondly, the treatment of children aged between 10 and 17 at the hands of the Israeli authorities is nothing short of scandalous. In 2016 more than 1,000 Palestinian minors were detained, mainly for stone throwing, under military law, processed through military courts and when convicted moved to Israeli prisons a long way from family and friends. The mandatory sentence for stone throwing is three years and the conviction rate in military courts is over 99%.
Many young Palestinians are traumatised. They are deprived of their youth and their education and a hatred of Israel is engendered for life. Israeli actions are contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and contrary to international human rights law.
The Labour Party has always been to the forefront in advocating justice at home and abroad. Labour’s decision to give its full support to the recognition of the State of Palestine and its decision to initiate an international campaign against the scandal of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors are important steps to highlight the injustices being perpetrated on the people of Palestine.