World Bulletin/News Desk
The Irish Senate gave its support to a legislation prohibiting the import or sale of goods and services produced in occupied territories around the world, including Israeli settlements considered illegal under international law.
Accordıng to Al Jazeera, the proposed law - passed 25 to 20 - to make it an offence to trade in such goods and services was introduced by an independent senator and drew support from all Ireland's major political parties except the governing Fine Gael party.
The bill will now go to the lower house of parliament for a debate and vote.
If passed, the bill will have to go through several more stages of review and amendment before it is signed into a law.
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) chief on Wednesday hailed Irish senate vote which imposed a ban on imports of products from territories occupied by Israel.
In a statement, Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the PLO, said the law is “consistent to values and principles of the Ireland and its historical support to right and justice".
“The Irish Senate has sent a clear message to the international community that talking about a two-state solution is not enough without taking concrete measures on the ground," Erekat said.
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, slammed the vote, saying it has supported “populist, dangerous and extremist” anti-Israel boycott initiative.
“It is an anti-Israel boycott initiative that hurts the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians,” it said in a statement.
According to the draft law import or attempt to import from settlement would be committing a crime punishable with up to five years in prison or 250 thousand Euros fine.
There are 150 illegal Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank home to about 750,000 settlers.
The "Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018" was put forward by Irish independent Senator Frances Black and co-signed by Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Colette Kelleher, John G Dolan, Grace O'Sullivan and David Norrison on January 24 this year.
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