MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan today came out strongly against a recent agreement signed by the EU to import gas from Israel, despite ongoing violations of international law and human rights in the Occupied Territories. Last month, Israel denied the MEP and a European Parliament delegation access to Gaza and the Occupied Territories.
Israel, Egypt and the EU signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to export Israeli Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the EU, in a search for alternative sources to Russian gas. This is the first time in a decade that the EU has agreed a deal with Israel without a clause excluding occupied Palestinian land, backtracking on long-standing policy. “We must not swap the gas of one occupying state for another” said MEP O’Sullivan.
Speaking in Brussels today, MEP O’Sullivan said “On one hand the EU comes out with a statement every other month deploring illegal settlement construction and human rights abuses against Palestinians, including the killing of journalists, and on the other hand we are sending them billions of euros for new gas imports. Just last month Israel refused to allow the European Parliament’s elected representatives, including myself, to enter Gaza where over two million people are denied basic rights by Israeli authorities. Why are we rewarding this behaviour?”
She added: “Any new gas deals will also lock us into fossil fuel dependency for years to come.”
The MEP will meet with Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD in Brussels today and will raise the issue with him, calling for strong Irish opposition to the deal. Together with like-minded MEPs, Ms. O’Sullivan will raise the issue with the European Commission.