Ireland advances bill on banning exports from ‘occupied territories’


(JTA) — The lower house of Ireland’s Parliament approved a bill on Thursday that would ban the import or sale of goods originating in all “occupied territories,” with lawmakers’ discussions centered on eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

Some Irish lawmakers suggested that passage of the legislation would lead Israel to close its embassy in Dublin and also could affect Ireland-U.S. relations. Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the legislation “an expression of pure hostility.”

The Dail passed the measure by a vote of 78-45 with three abstentions. It is the second of a five-phase process, according to reports.

The measure introduced by the conservative Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party would make illegal “the import and sales of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.” Sinn Fein, a left-wing party, supported the bill.

Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Niall Collins told the Irish Independent ahead of the vote that his party has become “increasingly concerned about the actions of Israel and its continued and blatant disregard for international law.” He said the bill would not harm trade in Israeli goods, just goods produced in the settlements.

The upper house of the Irish Parliament, the Seanad, passed the so-called Occupied Territories Bill in July in a 25-20 vote, with 14 senators abstaining.

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