Ireland would support a European Union ban on goods produced in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but “there is no prospect for reaching an agreement” on such a ban, the Irish foreign minister said.
“Ireland would support such a ban [on goods from Israeli settlments in the West Bank] at E.U. level,” Eamon Gilmore said in a Nov. 2 letter to the chairman of the Irish parliament’s Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
However, until there is a prospect for reaching an agreement among E.U. members on banning settlements products, “it would be a mistake for Ireland to focus our energies on this aspect,” Gilmore wrote.
“Many partners” opposed calls to ban settlement goods, he said.
Gilmore added that a ban “would not, of itself, make settlements unviable.”
He called settlements “a major impediment to peace” and said Ireland will “push for a strong E.U. role in seeking progress on the Middle East peace process.”
The Israeli daily Haaretz, which published a copy of the letter by Gilmore, quoted an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman as saying that the Irish ambassador to Israel would be summoned to “clarify” the letter.
Ireland Backs Ban on Settlement Products