Irish Senate approves bill banning Israeli settlement goods


Ireland is set to become the first EU country to impose a ban on the import of goods from illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territories of Palestine should a new bill passed by its upper house of parliament be approved by the lower house.

The sun shines on Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland on November 24, 2017.
The sun shines on Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland on November 24, 2017. (Reuters)

Ireland’s Senate, or upper house of parliament, on Wednesday approved a bill that criminalises the import and trade of goods and services originating in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

The draft bill passed the committee stage last week.

While the Irish government opposes the bill, it will be enacted if it is approved by the lower house of parliament.

If this occurs, Ireland will be the first EU country to impose such a ban on Israeli settlements.

“We will enact this vital bill with great support,” Senator Frances Black wrote on social media.

In a statement earlier, Black also emphasised that the bill is a minimum requirement for being an EU country that is committed to justice and human rights.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin has condemned the bill, calling it “populist” and “dangerous”.

The Irish Senate voted 25-20 in July to advance the bill, which would criminalise trade with Israeli settlements, including those built in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

According to the draft law, anyone importing or attempting to import from the settlements would be committing a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or a 250,000 euro fine.

Source: AA