09/07/15 Senator Daly speaks on the demolition and transfer of Susiya in the Israeli settlement of the West Bank

Senator Daly: I move:

That the Foreign Affairs Committee condemns the proposed demolition and transfer of the inhabitants of the Bedouin village of Susiya in the Israeli settlement of the West Bank. Forcible transfer of the protected population is prohibited according to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and is considered to be a grave breach of international humanitarian law according to Article 147 of the Convention. We instruct the Minister to contact the Government of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, Military Advocate General Danny Efroni, Israeli Military Judge Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit, and Israeli Military Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to express Ireland’s condemnation of the proposal to demolish the village of Susiya and expel its residents.

Many of us have received correspondence on this issue, which epitomises the situation in the West Bank and the occupied territories, especially in relation to a community like the Bedouin community. Permits are impossible to come by. We all know the situation with regard to the settlements we have opposed. I know the Minister of State, Deputy Dara Murphy, has taken a question on this matter in the Seanad and the Minister spoke about it yesterday. Ireland as a country has raised its objections to settlements and the activities of the Israeli Government in the West Bank. The future of this village is a particular case that we have been asked to highlight. I do not think it is much to ask of the Minister. We have done so in other cases. If the Israeli Government has its way, the village in question will not exist this time next year. I can only imagine the reply we are going to get. I have read a reply that refers to not intervening in specific cases. This affects future actions. If Ireland says it is going to raise the matter in a general sense, I do not think that is strong enough. This is continuing to happen to a particular community. We have received replies from the Israeli Embassy on this matter. We have also received counter-replies. It is very simple – we have been asked to highlight this issue, which affects a particular village. I think we should support that cause because this is a manifestation of national policy on Israel and Palestine.

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