Senator Frances Black In Nenagh: ‘Ireland Must Act On Palestine’

Independent Senator Frances Black is coming to the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh to speak about Palestine and her Occupied Territories Bill 2018. The bill seeks to ban trade in goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.


It passed an historic first vote in July, and will return to Seanad Eireann for the next stage of voting in November. In May, Tipperary County Council passed a motion in support of the legislation, and wrote to Senators urging them to pass it.

Senator Frances Black In Nenagh: 'Ireland Must Act On Palestine'

Senator Black with family in Susiya, West Bank

Senator Black will outline why she has tabled the bill and why it’s so important. She will also speak about her visit to the West Bank & Gaza in May, where she met with community groups and activists working against the occupation, and saw first-hand the devastating human rights conditions on the ground. She returned to Ireland just days before the world was shocked by the brutal killing of over 100 protestors at the Gaza border.


The evening will also feature personal eyewitness accounts from Lisa Hitchen, who has recently returned from a human rights accompaniment assignment in the West Bank. Elizabeth, who lives in Galway, volunteered as a human rights monitor in the town of Tulkarm in the North of the West Bank for three months.


The talk takes place at the Abbey Court Hotel on Monday 12th November, 7.30pm. There is no entry fee and all are welcome. The event is being hosted by former human rights monitor Gearoid Fitzgibbon and local development worker and artist Kate Walsh. Please register to attend or go to the facebook event page on:



WHEN: Monday 12th November 2018, 7.30pm

WHERE: The Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, Tipperary

CONTACT: Office of Senator Frances Black (0879703931)



  • The Occupied Territories Bill 2018 is proposed by Senator Black and supported by Fianna Fail, Labour, Sinn Fein, The Green Party, Social Democrats & several Independents. Only Fine Gael have opposed the bill.
  • It passed an historic first vote in July, and returns to the Seanad in November:
  • A copy of the bill, as well as a short briefing note on the bill’s main provisions, is available here:
  • Under international law, settlement construction is a war crime and a grave breach of international humanitarian law (Fourth Geneva Convention; Rome Statute of the ICC). The settlements created by such a transfer are also illegal under domestic Irish law (Int Criminal Court Act 2006; Geneva Conventions Acts 1962 & 1998)
  • Israel has occupied the Palestinian ‘West Bank’ since 1967, and has since transferred over 600,000 of its citizens into illegal settlements in that territory. This has been facilitated by the confiscation of over 40% of available land, and severely reduced the land available for agriculture, housing and basic services. It has caused immense suffering and a deteriorating human rights situation on the ground, particularly due to restricted access to water and electricity.
  • The bill does not ban Israeli goods. It makes the same distinction as the EU, between (a) Israeli goods, which are unaffected by the bill, and (b) goods produced in illegal settlements beyond the borders recognised by the Irish government and international community.
  • Products that have appeared on Irish shelves from the illegal settlements would include agricultural products such as dates, grapes, peppers, herbs, potatoes and citrus fruits, as well as cosmetic products from Ahava – Dead Sea Minerals.
  • The Irish Government have repeatedly stated that: “Ireland and its EU Partners have a clear position on Israeli settlements. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights are territories which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.”
  • In 2012, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously called for such a ban, on the basis that it “could have a strong and effective impact on suffering in the region”. Tanaiste Simon Coveney told the Dail that he is “open to considering in principle” an EU-level ban but outlined the “inescapable fact that there is no such prospect” of EU agreement at present.
  • The bill has been drafted with the oversight of the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisor (OPLA) of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and the formal legal input of Michael Lynn (Senior Counsel in Ireland) and Professor of International Law at Cambridge University James Crawford (Senior Counsel in the UK).


Comments are closed.