Bacik calls for action on Occupied Territories Bill

Ivana Bacik TD
15 May 2024
  • Government must get updated advice from Attorney General

Labour’s Leader Ivana Bacik TD has called on Government to get updated advice from the Attorney General in light of the escalating conflict in Palestine. Speaking at Leader’s Questions today, Deputy Bacik highlighted the solidarity shown by communities across Ireland with the people of Palestine and underscored the urgent need for Ireland to align its actions with its values.

Deputy Bacik said

“Across Ireland, we see a profound outpouring of support for the people of Palestine. From vigils and protests to fundraising efforts, communities in Ireland are united in their condemnation of the violence and their desire to offer support. I wish to commend Bohemians Football Club for their support for the Palestine Women’s Team ahead of the big match tonight. Unfortunately, this solidarity is significantly undermined as long as Ireland remains so financially embedded in the Israeli economy.

“There have been positive moves, of course. I appreciate Government’s important move towards recognition of the Palestinian state.

“In 2023, Ireland imported €3.6 billion worth of Israeli goods. Shockingly, in the first two months of this year alone, €608 million worth of Israeli goods entered the State. These numbers make Ireland one of the top ten importers of Israeli goods. This economic relationship means we are indirectly funding the very actions we find abhorrent: the incursion into Rafah, the destruction of aid at the border, and the killing of children by the Israeli Defence Forces.

“Government’s opposition to the passage of the Occupied Territories Bill has been based on legal advice from the Attorney General’s office. But given the war and the increasing humanitarian crisis, why hasn’t that advice been updated? It’s imperative that our legal framework reflects the current realities on the ground. The conflict has escalated to such a degree that it demands a reassessment of our legal and economic stance.

“When will Government commit to facilitating the passage of the Occupied Territories Bill? This is not just a political necessity but a moral imperative. The time for action is now. We must stand true to our principles and show solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

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