Home Politics 17/November/2021 11:24 AM

Finland to debate bill banning trade with illegal Israeli colonial settlements

Finland to debate bill banning trade with illegal Israeli 
colonial settlements
A view of one of Israel's colonial settlements in the occupied territories

BRUSSELS, Wednesday, November 17, 2021 (WAFA) - Last week, Finnish Member of Parliament, Veronika Honkasalo, tabled a bill to ban the import of goods produced in occupied territories in violation of international law.  The ban would apply, among others, to goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

“Clearly, laws that ban such imports help businesses and consumers to act responsibly. Palestinians are suffering from the longest occupation in modern history and policies and human rights abuses that systematically violate international law. We must stop supporting Israel’s illegal settlements” – Honkasalo said.

According to a press release issued by the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), the European Stop Settlements Campaign welcomed this initiative, which makes Finland the second country after Ireland in which such legislation will be debated by Parliament.

ECCP called on elected representatives in other European countries to follow the Irish and Finnish examples and to comply with their legal obligations under international law.

It recalled that the International Court of Justice and Amnesty International have repeatedly reminded states of their legal obligation not to recognize or assist grave violations of international law, such as the annexation of occupied territories, suppression of the right to self-determination, or war crimes.

“Trading is a form of recognition and assistance. Hence, European states and the EU must stop trade with all illegal settlements, present, and future,” ECCP stressed.

“The EU and member states have often repeated that Israeli settlements are illegal, yet they allow the import of settlement products, helping the settlements financially”, said Syksy Rنsنnen, Chair of ICAHD Finland – a civil society organization supporting the bill.

 “I applaud MP Veronika Honkasalo for introducing this bill, which would bring Finnish domestic law into line with Finland’s obligations under international law. It doesn’t cover only Palestine, but upholds a general duty.” he added.



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