Irish law to prevent trade in settlement products and their services is a welcome and necessary step to implement the recognition of their illegality
Amnesty International welcomes legislative efforts in Ireland to prohibit certain economic activities with illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law, such as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Business activities in or with illegal settlements, such as the trade in settlement goods and services, contribute to the economy of these settlements and therefore to their viability, development and expansion. States that promote or allow these activities are at least implicitly conferring recognition to an illegal situation and assisting in its maintenance, therefore acting against their international obligations not to recognise as lawful and not to assist in an illegal situation (the establishment of settlements by an occupying power in occupied territory).
This is why Amnesty International is calling on states to ban the import of goods from Israel’s illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to prohibit companies domiciled in their territory from operating in Israel’s settlements or trading in Israeli settlements’ goods and services.
The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 is an important step towards Ireland complying with its international obligations not to recognise and not to assist in an illegal situation under international law and its obligation to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions.