Irish Senate Supports Bill Banning Trade with Israeli Settlements

The Irish Senate gave its support on Wednesday to a legislation prohibiting the import or sale of goods and services produced in occupied territories around the world, including Israeli settlements considered illegal under international law.

The proposed law � passed 25 to 20 � to make it an offense to trade in such goods and services was introduced by an independent senator and drew support from all Ireland’s major political parties except the governing Fine Gael party.

The bill will now go to the lower house of parliament for a debate and vote. If passed, the bill will have to go through several more stages of review and amendment before it is signed into a law.

Saeb Erekat, senior leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, called the move by Ireland’s upper house, Senead, historic and urge other countries to do the same.

There are 150 illegal Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank home to about 750,000 settlers.

The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 was put forward by Irish independent Senator Frances Black and co-signed by Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Colette Kelleher, John G Dolan, Grace O’Sullivan and David Norrison on January 24 this year.

The settlements are an intentional obstacle put in place by successive Israeli governments to thwart any peace agreement with the Palestinian people and to further Israel’s control over the entire region.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the vote would have a negative impact on the diplomatic process in the Middle East.

Source: Palestine Chronicle