Hamas hails Irish vote against imports from settlements

The proposal was led by Independent Senator Frances Black

The proposal was led by Independent Senator Frances Black

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.

While other countries have issued condemnations or moved to label Israeli items produced in the occupied Palestinian territories, this Bill is believed to be the first which would ban the import of the goods altogether.

It is estimated that the value of such imports to Ireland is up to €1 million a year.

The bill could see Ireland become the first European Union country to ban settlement goods and services, but would not apply to goods or services from within Israel itself.

The bill was passed with 25 votes in favour and 20 against.

Ireland has made it clear that it opposes any boycotts against areas of Israel within the pre-1967 lines.

"Senate of Ireland supported the populist, unsafe and extremist action against the Israeli boycott, which exacerbates the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians", - said in a statement.

Israeli settlements in both the occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights are illegal and constitute a war crime under both the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which prohibit occupying states from transferring their own civilian population into occupied territory. "On behalf of the government I am unable to agree that this bill is the way forward", Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said during the discussion that preceded the vote. And just a week later, Fianna Fail (Warriors of Fal), the second-largest party in the Irish parliament, declared that it was going to back the bill, raising hopes among Palestine supporters in Ireland that it would indeed pass. Law professor Orde F Kittrie claimed that the bill could mean major alterations to Ireland's links with these firms and may impact future FDI decisions.

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In it, Mr Kim says: "I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr President ". In return, Washington agreed to halt USA military exercises in South Korea .

Kelly stressed at that meeting that the initiative had been sponsored by independent representatives in the Irish Senate and was opposed by the Irish government, but also that the proposed legislation was not a BDS initiative and that the Irish government is opposed to BDS. The campaign received support from over 6,000 people, including celebrities such as Charlie McGettigan and Christy Moore.

Daly challenged the European Union to "invoke its own laws in relation to human rights in its agreement between European Union and Israel", and said he had received letters from Arab members of the Israeli parliament urging them to pass the Bill, adding that the Minister was wrong to speak of a peace process when there was no conditions for a peace process due to the Israeli government's actions.

"Countries need to take a stand and put Apartheid Israel on notice that it can not continue to expand into Palestinian territory and brutalise its citizens".

Seven county councils around the country have voted to support the Palestinian-led global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"Once again, Ireland is making history and leading the way in its solidarity with the Palestinian people", she continued.

"This anti-Israel boycott initiative hurts the prospects for dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians", the ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian leader Saeb Erekat welcomed the news, calling it a "courageous step".

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