'The upper house of Ireland's parliament, known as Seanad Éireann or the Senate, has approved a bill that criminalizes importing or selling goods produced in Israeli settlements across the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, which was passed on Wednesday, declares it an offense “for a person to import or attempt to import settlement goods.”
It also states that those who “assist another person to import or attempt to import settlement goods” would be committing a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or a €250,000 fine.
The measure now needs the endorsement of the lower house of the parliament, known as the Dáil Éireann, before the Irish president signs it into law.
Independent Irish Senator Frances Black, who had sponsored the bill, hailed its approval.
“Incredible - the Occupied Territories Bill has just passed all stages in Seanad Éireann! Ireland can be the first EU country to end trade in illegal #SettlementGoods,” she tweeted. “It now goes to Dáil for agreement, & with such huge support we’ll make this vital bill law!”
Incredible - the Occupied Territories Bill has just passed all stages in Seanad Éireann! Ireland can be the first EU country to end trade in illegal #SettlementGoods. It now goes to Dáil for agreement, & with such huge support we'll make this vital bill law! #solidarity ???? pic.twitter.com/uwQoQ665UT
— Frances Black (@frances_black) December 5, 2018
The passage of the pro-Palestine measure was followed by sustained applause and a standing ovation by opposition and independent senators. However, Ireland’s minority government had opposed the bill.
Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Ahmed Abdelrazek as well as lawyers who worked on the drafting of the bill and its sponsoring organizations were present in the Senate visitors’ gallery during its passage.
Wednesday's vote puts Ireland on track to become the first European Union country to end trade with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Golan Heights.'
Read more: Irish Senate passes bill outlawing trade with Israeli settlements