Not Just Ireland: Chilean Congress Calls for Boycott of Israeli Settlements

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The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.Credit: Emil Salman

The Chilean congress approved this week a resolution calling for its government to boycott Israeli settlements in any future agreement with Israel and to reexaime past agreements.

The resolution passed with 99 congressmen voting in its favor, seven voting against it and 30 abstaining.

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The resolution approved in Chile on Tuesday includes a demand from the government to examine all agreements signed with Israel, in order to ensure they only cover territories within the Green Line. The second clause requests that the Chilean Foreign Service ensure that future agreements relate to territories within Israel proper. 

It was also decided to give guidelines to Chilean citizens visiting or doing business in Israel, so that they understand the historical context of the place and "not support colonization or cooperate with human rights violations in the occupied territories."

Finally, the resolution calls for the creation of a so-called mechanism to forbid imports of products made in settlements.

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The resolution recognizes a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Chile has in the past recognized a Palestinian state. 

The foreign ministry in Chile will study the resolution and it may be legislated into law in the future.  

On Wednesday, the Irish senate passed another stage of a bill calling to boycott produce originating in Israeli settlements.

Both of these legal moves were pushed by the Palestinians ahead of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which takes place Thursday.

The current stage of the Irish law corresponds with a first reading in the Israeli Knesset.

In July, the Senate approved the bill in a preliminary reading with support from the opposition. Twenty-five Parliament members voted in favor, 20 opposed and 14 abstained.

The bill prohibits the export and selling of products and services which come from "illegal settlements in occupied territories." The vote was postponed earlier this year in an attempt to reach a compromise with the government, which sought to soften it after Israel broached the subject.

However, mutual understandings were not achieved on the matter.

Saeb Erekat, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), lauded the legislative moves on Thursday by saying: "On the occasion of International Solidarity Day with Palestine, it is important to extend the Palestinian peoples’ gratitude to the courageous efforts of both the Chilean and Irish Parliaments. The efforts of both distinguished parliaments have triumphed for the justice and rights of the Palestinian people."

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