Israeli defense minister calls for closing embassy in Dublin after Irish anti-settlement vote

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-13 03:36:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JERUSALEM, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday called for the "immediate" closure of Israel's embassy in Dublin after the Irish Senate voted to ban imports of products of Israeli settlements.

The remarks followed Israel's Foreign Ministry summoning the Irish ambassador in Tel Aviv in the wake of the vote in the Irish upper house, or Seanad, on Wednesday.

"There is no point in summoning the Ambassador of Ireland for a 'reprimand,'" Lieberman said in a tweet on his Twitter account.

"Israel needs to immediately close the embassy in Ireland. We don't turn the other cheek to those who boycott us," the hawkish minister wrote.

The 25-20 vote marked the first time a European parliament has endorsed a boycott of goods produced in settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories.

The bill, which the Irish government opposes, still needs to be approved by the Irish lower house before it becomes law.

Palestinian Secretary General Saeb Erekat expressed "sincere appreciation" to the Irish Senate's move.

He urged other European countries to follow suit. "If some countries within the EU are willing to continue encouraging Israel's culture of impunity, it is time for individual member-state to take legitimate actions like the one approved by the Seanad," said Erekat.

Israel's Foreign Ministry criticized the bill, saying that "the Irish Senate has given its support to a populist, dangerous and extremist anti-Israel boycott initiative that hurts the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians."

The ministry said it will consider "its response in accordance with developments regarding this legislation."

Israel seized the West Bank, together with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, in the 1967 Middle East war and has built many Jewish settlements on the Palestinian territories.