20 days following the Irish Foreign Minister’s visit to Israel, the Irish Ambassador to Israel has been summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, where she will be rebuked for a bill that prohibits trade with businesses located in the West Bank. “The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote on Twitter.
Netanyahu and the Irish Foreign Minister Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced an Irish bill on Tuesday that bans the import and sales of products from Israeli settlements. Netanyahu ordered that the Israeli Foreign Ministry summon the Irish Ambassador to Israel and reprimand her regarding the issue. The controversy between the two countries comes three weeks following Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney’s visit to Israel, during which he met with Netanyahu.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemns the Irish legislative initiative, the entire goal of which is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote on Twitter. “the initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice. “Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed that the Irish Ambassador to Israel be summoned to the Foreign Ministry on this matter.”
According to the legislative initiative entitled “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, anyone who breaks this law could be punished with up to five years in prison. Irish Senator Frances Black, who submitted the controversial bill, in the past has signed a letter calling for boycotting all Israeli products and services, including those produced over the Green Line.
Besides banning the import and sales of Israeli-made products, the bill also prohibits consuming Israeli services based over the 1967 borders. Part 1, Section 3 of the legislative initiative describes the bill as “an Act to give effect to the State’s obligations arising under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and under customary international humanitarian law.”