Palestinian activists, officials welcome Irish vote in favour of Occupied Territories Bill

Irish senate backs law banning trade with Israeli settlements

Israel Slams 'Immoral' Bill Passed by Ireland's Senate Outlawing Trade With West Bank Jewish Communities

The measure would make it a criminal offense in Ireland, punishable by a fine of up to €250,000 ($292,000) or up to five years in prison, for a person "to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances; and to provide for related matters".

However, now that "three opposition parties - Labour, Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail - have announced that they will support the bill", as well as "several independents", the "bill is now expected to pass".

Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza makes it more hard for the Irish government to oppose a parliamentary bill criminalizing trade with east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza, Ireland's Ambassador to the Israel Alison Kelly told The Jerusalem Post.

If the Seanad approves it, it would then be passed to the lower house of the parliament for a debate and vote.

"The Irish Senate has sent a clear message to the worldwide community that talking about a two-state solution is not enough without taking concrete measures on the ground", Erekat said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the Irish Senate for the decision, "that many other countries have avoided to make for years", despite previous resolutions to label products from illegal Israeli settlements according to the 2015 European Union regulations. Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Council published a report on the role businesses play in Israel's violations of global humanitarian law, "contributing to Israel's confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and. the exploitation of Palestine's natural resources".

Speaking to Trinity News, SJP member Sean Egan explained that the group is "absolutely delighted" the bill passed.

But Foreign Minister Simon Coveney warned it risked "fanning flames" in the Middle East.

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Ireland imports a number of agricultural and cosmetic settlement products, including those produced by Ahava.

It summoned the Irish ambassador for clarifications over the proposed legislation when it was first introduced in January.

Simon Coveney has dismissed a proposed trade ban with Israel as a divisive move that would make peace in the Middle East even more hard.

According to Kittrie, if the bill is signed into law, it could force some of Ireland's largest companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, which are all USA -based, to make a costly choice between violating either Irish or US law, which prohibits USA companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the American government does not endorse. It becomes law only with the signature of the Irish president.

There is global consensus on the illegality of these settlements. Ireland was also the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization as well.

She said she visited Palestine earlier this year and, highlighting an Israel settlement which led to a Palestinian village losing its water supply to provide water for a chicken farm. The campaign received support from over 6,000 people, including celebrities such as Charlie McGettigan and Christy Moore.

"Stand up for what you believe in and hold Israel to account".

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