Ireland’s Senate advances bill that bans Israeli settlement goods


(JTA) — Ireland’s Senate approved a bill on Wednesday making it illegal to purchase products and services from Israeli settlements.

The measure would make it illegal “the import and sales of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.” The term occupied territories includes eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

Despite government opposition to the bill, the Seanad passed the legislation in a 25-20 vote, with 14 senators abstaining. It must advance several more steps before it can be signed into law by President Michael Higgins.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Irish ambassador to Israel for Thursday morning for clarification.

“The Irish Senate has given its support to a populist, dangerous and extremist anti-Israel boycott initiative that hurts the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians; it will have a negative impact on the diplomatic process in the Middle East,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “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.”

Israel has not yet said how it will respond to the legislation.

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