Israel has summoned Ireland’s ambassador over the country’s passing of legislation banning the import of goods made in Israeli settlements.
“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,” said a statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) hailed the Irish move, calling on other countries to following suit.
“This courageous step builds on the historic ties between Ireland and Palestine, as well as it shows the way forward for the rest of the European Union,” said high-ranking PLO official Saeb Erekat.
The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill passed earlier in the day in the Irish parliament by a 25-20 vote with most of the country’s major political blocs backing it.
The bill was proposed by Frances Black, an independent senator, who ahead of the vote called on her colleagues to back the legislation “to state firmly that Irish foreign policy will always stand on the side of international law, human rights and justice.”
She also noted that while settlements are slammed as illegal by the EU, the UN and the Irish government, there is “clear hypocrisy” in how people “buy the proceeds of this crime.”
The bill now requires the approval of Ireland’s lower house of parliament.
In January, Israel summoned the Irish ambassador to the occupied Palestinian territories to express its anger over the parliamentary bill.
Israel summons Irish ambassador to voice its anger at a bill to boycott goods from Israeli settlements.
Israel has been expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank since it invaded the area in 1967. The international community views Israel’s control over the region, as well as the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem al-Quds, as illegal, and insists the territory would be a part of a future Palestinian state.
In a bid to force the regime to withdraw its claim from the area, many countries have banned the sale of goods produced by the Israeli settlers. The boycott is part of a larger international movement known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that calls for a full boycott of Israel.
Even Israel’s closest allies in Europe and the United States have been pressing Israel to withdraw from the settlements or at least halt their expansion. In a historic move, the administration of former US President Barack Obama stopped short of opposing a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements in a late 2016 vote.
The European Union has also approved guidelines for labeling goods produced in the Israeli settlements.