By Hedaya al-Saeedi
GAZA CITY, Palestine
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas on Thursday hailed an Irish Senate vote imposing a ban on the import of products originating from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.
In a statement, Hamas described the vote as “an important step towards criminalizing the behavior of the [Israeli] occupation and its policy of illegal settlement-building on Palestinian land”.
The group went on to urge the international community to follow Ireland’s lead by boycotting goods produced on settlements built in occupied territory.
On Wednesday evening, Ireland’s senate voted 25 to 20 in favor of legislation criminalizing imports from Israeli settlements.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry, for its part, slammed the vote, saying the move was part of a “populist, dangerous and extremist” campaign to boycott Israeli commodities.
“This anti-Israel boycott initiative hurts the prospects for dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the legislation, the import of settlement-manufactured goods -- or attempts to import them -- will be considered a crime punishable by up to five years behind bars or a 250,000-euro fine.