Irish Senate backs bill banning Israeli settlement goods

LONDON — The Irish Senate has voted in favor of a bill seeking to ban the import of West Bank settlement products — a measure that still must pass several hurdles before becoming law.

The bill aims to make it an offence to import or sell goods or services from Israeli settlements. If passed, Ireland would become the first European country to ban settlement goods.

Senators voted 25 to 20 Wednesday in favor of the proposal, which still needs to be debated and voted on in Parliament's Lower House. That is expected to take months.

The Irish government strongly opposes the measure, saying there should be a common European Union response.

In a statement, Israel's Foreign Ministry criticized the Irish Senate for supporting "a populist, dangerous and extremist anti-Israel boycott initiative."

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