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 Header Item Palestine: Motion [Private Members] (Continued)
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2014: Messages from Select Committees
 Header Item Water Services Bill 2014: Committee Stage

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

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  12 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy]   If this year has demonstrated anything, it is that we can dispel the notion that supporting this type of motion will shake the fragile peace process in the Middle East. This is because there is no peace process, and that is the real tragedy. The barbarity and severity of the bombardment the citizens of Gaza had to endure for 50 days this summer - known to the Israeli defence forces as Operation Protective Edge - has smashed the hopes of even the most naive that this Israeli Government is interested in pursuing a peace settlement. The UN figures are absolutely appalling, showing the death of 1,523 Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians, 519 of them children.

  The reason we are debating this motion today is that the international community has grown exasperated waiting for the peace to come and watching these horrors unfold. Members have received correspondence in recent days from a large number of Israeli people from all walks of life. It is very important that these 650 civilians, prominent figures all, have shown leadership where their government failed so to do. Yesterday, a former Israeli ambassador to Ireland told the thejournal.ie that recognition of Palestine was an essential part of a two-state solution. It is very important that the Israeli voices whose message we are conveying in this debate get the attention they deserve so we can help to encourage a solution from within this very troubled part of the world.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy I compliment Sinn Féin on bringing forward this motion and welcome the Government's acceptance of it. Statehood is the right of the Palestinian people, as is increasingly accepted and supported internationally. Some 135 countries have now formally recognised the state of Palestine, including eight EU member states, namely, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Cyprus and Sweden. In addition, the British, Spanish and French parliaments and, in this country, the Seanad have called on their respective governments to recognise Palestine. It is particularly instructive that 900 prominent Israeli citizens have called on Dáil Éireann to pass this motion and give recognition to the state of Palestine. In their letter they say:

There is no doubt that we have an opportunity here to help to build a lasting and just peace in the region based on human rights and respect for international law. In fact, the adoption of this motion and the recognition of the state of Palestine would be an important expression of support for Palestinian statehood and for freedom and peace in the region. International recognition of the state of Palestine is an important action that will increase diplomatic pressure on Israel to end its occupation and ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land and the apartheid system it operates against the Palestinian people.

  Of course, recognition itself cannot end the occupation; only Israel can do that. In that context, I urge the Government to impose political and economic sanctions on the state of Israel until such time as it ends its occupation of Palestine and abides fully by its international obligations under international law, thereby allowing a truly independent and free Palestine to exist.

Debate adjourned.

Estimates for Public Services 2014: Messages from Select Committees

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt The Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for Public Services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2014 - Vote 32.

  The Select Sub-Committee on Health has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for Public Services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2014 - Vote 39.

  The Select Sub-Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for Public Services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2014 - Vote 31.

  The Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimate for Public Services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2014 - Vote 30.

Water Services Bill 2014: Committee Stage

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly I move amendment No. 1:

This is a technical amendment which provides that the definitions of terms used in the Bill are the same as those used in the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013. "Customer" is defined as the occupier of the premises in respect of which the water services are provided; "local authority" means a city or county council; and "occupier" means the person for the time being entitled to the occupation of a premises. The Water Services Act 2007 defined "premises" to include any building, vessel, vehicle, structure or land, whether or not there are structures on the land and whether or not the land is covered by water, and any plant or related accessories on or under such land, together with any put buildings and curtilage. The 2013 Act confirmed that "premises" also includes part of a premises. The definition of "property" includes land, equipment, pipes, sewers, structures, waterworks and wastewater works, as well as money, stocks, shares and securities, but does not include storm water sewers.

Deputy Fergus O'Dowd: Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd I have no problem with this provision, but will the Minister indicate why it was necessary to include these definitions?

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins This amendment is part of the general noxious legislation the Minister is pushing through tonight. On that basis alone, it should be opposed.

Deputy Alan Kelly: Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly To clarify, this amendment is purely to address a drafting issue.

  Amendment put and declared carried.

  Section 1, as amended, agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendment No. 2, in the name of Deputy Brian Stanley, and amendment No. 3, in the name of Deputy Stephen Donnelly, are out of order.

  Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 not moved.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 8 are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy I move amendment No. 4:

The way in which the original Bill was drafted left it open to the Minister to cause the sale of Irish Water. There was cause for further concern in the data protection statements that were included on the Irish Water website. The first of these, for example, referred to the sale not only of Irish Water but of the PPS numbers and personal information of its customers. Of course, the Government kept on assuring us this could not possibly happen.


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