Netanyahu condemns Irish legislation promoting Israel boycott

Netanyahu condemns Irish legislative initiative which calls for a boycott of Judea and Samaria. Irish Ambassador will be summoned.

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Nitsan Keidar,

BDS demonstration
BDS demonstration

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday strongly condemned an Irish legislative initiative which calls for a boycott of products produced in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu said in a statement that the goal of the proposed legislation “is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel.”

“The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice,” he added.

Netanyahu also instructed that the Irish Ambassador to Israel be summoned to the Foreign Ministry on this matter. The meeting with the Irish ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, will be held on Wednesday, according to a report in Haaretz.

The Irish senate debated the bill on Tuesday. Beyond outlawing the import or sale of such products, it would also ban services originating from Judea and Samaria, the newspaper said.

The senate decided that debates regarding the bill will be formally adjourned until July. "This will allow the Irish government five months to progress a diplomatic approach and action at European Union level. It also gives more time for improvements, amendments and changes to the bill," people involved in the matter told Haaretz.

The European Commission in 2015 issued guidelines for labeling products from Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and neighborhoods of Jerusalem liberated during the 1967 Six Day War.

The EU insists the labeling does not amount to a boycott of these regions, saying so-called “settlement products” have to be correctly labeled.