The Irish Parliament on Wednesday became close to ratifying a new proposal into law that would ban any kind of economic trade with Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Irish Senate, or Seanad, recently passed the Occupied Territories Bill, which strictly prohibits the imports and sales of any goods, services, and natural resources originally from the settlements, which have been under fire by international organizations such as the UN. The legislation is now awaiting approval or disapproval from the parliament’s lower chamber, the Dail Eireann or the Assembly. Both the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have criticized the Senate’s bill and believe that this legislation would undermine or deter international involvement or cooperation with future peace talks.
This proposed law has arisen from Irish support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS was started and organized back in 2005 when more than 170 Palestinian organizations called for a boycott of all Israeli goods, services, and resources, divestments from organizations that operate in the settlements, and sanctions against the Israeli government. The modern-day BDS was inspired by the BDS movement against Apartheid South Africa several decades ago and is aimed to put public pressure on Israel to move toward a two-state solution.
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