Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Brendan Smith has said that the current plans to forcibly transfer Palestinians form the village of Susiya is immoral and must not be allowed to take place.

Deputy Smith, speaking at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, commented, “The European Union should call for an immediate stop to  the proposal to forcibly transfer Palestinians from their land in the village of Susiya. This proposal, along with the planned destruction of private property, is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. The EU should use the forthcoming Council meeting to demand the immediate cancellation of such transfer plans and demolition orders.

“Today’s Oireachtas committee meeting coincided with the anniversary of the beginning of the Israeli military operation codenamed ‘Operation protective Edge’. This proactive military engagement caused extensive devastation on the Gaza Strip over a 50-day period. The continuous bombing of the strip during that operation resulted in the death of 1,440 Palestinian civilians.

“Entire neighbourhoods of the Gaza Strip remain destroyed with families unable to return to their homes. It is absolutely disgraceful that not a single destroyed house has been re-built, with the economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt continuing to cause prolonged hardship for the Palestinian people. Over 100,000 people remain displaced to this day”.

“I am calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure that the European Union sets out a meaningful programme in relation to labelling products from settlement areas. The EU must also insist on Israel and Palestine adhering fully to their obligations under international law.