Dublin, 01 July 2023 (TDI): In a statement released today, the Tánaiste expressed strong condemnation of recent decisions made by the Israeli administration to advance over 5,500 housing units in West Bank settlements, including the retroactive regularisation of three illegal outposts.

The Tánaiste emphasized that, according to international law, all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal.

Urging Israel to reverse these decisions, the Tánaiste called for an immediate cessation of all settlement activities across the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Tánaiste further stated that such decisions pose a significant obstacle to achieving a just and lasting peace.

These actions come at a time of increased fragility and an escalating cycle of violence, which was recently exemplified by extreme settler violence in the West Bank villages of Turmus Ayya and Urif, as well as the killing of four Israeli civilians in Eli.

The Tánaiste emphasized that Israel, as the occupying power, bears the legal responsibility to protect all civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Additionally, the Tánaiste strongly condemned the provocative and irresponsible statements made by an Israeli Cabinet Minister during his visit to the illegal Israeli outpost at Eviatar last week.

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In light of these developments, the Tánaiste emphasized the importance of all parties’ actions aligning with international law and contributing to breaking the cycle of violence.

Ireland commended the recent high-level engagement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including discussions between Presidents Herzog and Abbas, viewing it as an encouraging step.

The Tánaiste, along with international partners, also called upon Israel to fulfill the commitments made in Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh. The statement also stressed the need for all parties to return to dialogue aimed at de-escalation and the restoration of a political horizon.

Furthermore, the Tánaiste emphasized that a two-State solution achieved through meaningful negotiations remains the only lasting resolution to the conflict.