Irish parliament brands Israel’s presence in the West Bank ‘de facto annexation’

Ireland’s parliament has called Israel’s handling of the West Bank a “de facto annexation” in a rare use of the term by officials of an EU member state.

The designation comes in a nonbinding motion passed by the Dail, the lower house, by Sinn Fein, a nationalist left-wing party. Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, who is not from Sinn Fein, also used the term in a debate in parliament earlier this week.

A draft amendment to the motion calling to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and impose comprehensive sanctions against Israel failed to pass.

The motion says the Irish Dail “declares that Israel’s actions amount to unlawful de facto annexation of that territory and calls on the Government not to recognize as lawful any situation created by any such serious breach of international law.”

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