Irish bill to criminalize West Bank settlement activity advances

The private members bill has enough parliamentary support to be passed into law.

January 24, 2019 15:41
1 minute read.
Irish bill to criminalize West Bank settlement activity advances

Voting map of the Irish parliament . (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)


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Ireland’s lower parliament voted 78-45, with three abstentions to advance a bill that would criminalize West Bank settlement activity.

The private members bill has enough parliamentary support to be passed into law. The minority government opposes the bill, but has not been able to halt its passage through the parliament because of its minority standing.

Immediately after the vote, Irish Senator Frances Black tweeted, “Ireland will always stand for international law + human rights, & we're one step closer to making history. Onwards!”

“We have now united every opposition party behind this bill, because it is *not* a radical ask: we want to give effect to basic provisions of int law & human rights,” she wrote.

Immediately after the vote, Irish parliamentarian Maurice Quinlivan called on the government to recognize the state of Palestine.

“It’s now time to implement the will of the Dáil by recognizing the state of Palestine," he tweeted.

The bill is called the  “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018.” It makes it a criminal “offense for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances; and to provide for related matters.”

If passed into law, the measure would impose a fine of up to 250,000 euros or five years in jail for those found guilty of engaging in such activity in relation to the Golan Heights, east Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.

The bill still has a number of hurdles to pass before it becomes law, but it is already at an advanced stage.

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