IRELAND, PALESTINOW.COM — Ireland’s senate has voted in favor of a bill banning the importation of products from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for the country to become the first EU nation to enforce a boycott.
The bill, which has faced angry Israeli opposition, prohibits “trade with and economic support for illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law”.
Having been approved in the upper house of the Irish parliament, the Seanad, the legislation will now need to get through more Seanad votes and then the lower house before becoming law.
At Israel’s urging, a previously scheduled vote in January was delayed at the Irish government’s request. Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had summoned Ireland’s ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, at the time.
Netanyahu has denounced the bill, saying it “gives a tailwind to those who seek to boycott Israel and is utterly contrary to the principles of free trade and justice”. The bill does not ban all Israeli products.
Frances Black, the independent senator who sponsored the bill, said in a statement before the vote that “trade in settlement goods sustains injustice”.
“In the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all,” she said. (PIC)