Lawmakers in the Republic of Ireland on Thursday voted in favor of a bill that would implement a draconian ban on goods produced by Israeli communities in the West Bank.
Despite the opposition of the Irish government, which insists that the legislation would violate the European Union’s single market regulations, the bill passed by 75 votes to 45 votes, with three abstentions, in the Dáil, Ireland’s parliament.
The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill would impose jail for up to five years and heavy fines on Irish citizens who import or sell products from the West Bank. Crucially, it would require foreign companies with divisions or subsidiaries in Ireland to adhere to the boycott as well. The bill passed through Ireland’s Senate in July 2018, and now has to win approval in committee before it becomes law.
In a sign of the widespread political support enjoyed by the bill, the three abstaining votes on Thursday came from government ministers. One of them, Junior Minister John Halligan, who is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, suggested in a media interview on Thursday that he would have voted in favor of the legislation had he not been convinced that it would pass.