Ireland must move to ban goods imported from illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said.
David Begg, general secretary of Ictu is calling for an “urgent meeting” with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore “to seek an immediate and effective intervention by the Irish Government in light of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.”
In a letter to Mr Gilmore, sent over the weekend, Mr Begg calls on the Tánaiste to demand revocation of the favoured trading status Israel enjoys with the EU and an Irish push for an EU ban on trade with Israeli settlements.
In another letter, also sent to Mr Gilmore over the weekend, a coalition of Palestinian agricultural and farming groups calls for “a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements”.
The appropriation of Palestinian land on the West Bank has continued since 1967. According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, Israel has established more than 200 settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Some 42 per cent of the West Bank has been occupied by over 500,000 Israeli settlers.
Justin Kilcullen, executive director of Trócaire, says while Palestinians endure check-points, water and medicine shortages, house demolitions and land confiscations, Israeli settlers “enjoy tax-breaks [and] access to swimming pools”.
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