Ireland approves boycotting Israeli settlement goods


Israel summons Ireland's ambassador after the country's parliament passed legislation banning imports of goods produced in Israeli settlements.

It is estimated that the value of such imports to Ireland is up to €1 million a year. "The bill is focused [solely] on the sale of products from settlements and not on trade within the Green Line", she said in defense.

Chairperson of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Ms Fatin Al Tamimi, also welcomed today's vote, saying "We in the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Palestinians around the world, warmly welcome this historic vote, the first of its kind in any Western country".

"Senate of Ireland supported the populist, risky and extremist action against the Israeli boycott, which exacerbates the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians", - said in a statement.

The government in Dublin - known to be one of the most pro-Palestinian governments in Europe - opposed the bill, arguing that it is not legally entitled to curtail trade with Israeli companies based in the settlements.

But the bill lacks the support of the Irish government.

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Passing the bill would simply mean that Ireland is moving to modify its domestic legislation to comply with its third-state obligations under IHL. He said he accepted that Israeli settlements were "now at the heart of the conflict" and a "particular focus for action", but said he opposed the Bill on the basis of legal, political and practical problems with it. That is not likely to happen, as the ruling Fine Gael Irish government wants an European Union response rather than unilateral measures.

The bill, which passed its second reading on Tuesday, still has eight more procedural hurdles to jump, including a vote in the Irish Parliament's House of Representatives, before it can be signed into law by the Irish president. "FF [Fianna Fáil - The Republican Party] knows this - so this move is both opportunist and irresponsible", tweeted Foreign Ministry Simon Coveney last week.

Responding, Senator Mark Daly from Fianna Fail said Ireland was out on its own when supporting a Palestinian state in 1980, when there was just 30,000 settlers in Palestinian territory - now there was almost 500,000, he said.

Clarifies that this law is supported by 25 deputies, against - voted 20 deputies. "The absurd in the Irish Senate's initiative is that it will harm the livelihoods of many Palestinians who work in the Israeli industrial zones affected by the boycott", Coveney said.

He said that employing such "concrete measures" were vital to the Palestinian, adding that "those trading with Israeli settlements are complicit in the systematic denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination".