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DLR councillors vote to boycott goods from illegally occupied territories

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councillors have voted to change the policy of the local authority and boycott any services or goods produced in illegally occupied territories.

The decision was made at the June council meeting when a motion was tabled by a group of cross-party councillors.

The motion reads: “It is the policy of this council not to purchase goods or services, produced or provided, in whole or in part (as practicable), from illegally occupied territories by illegal settlers, and that any such contracts should cease as soon as allowed.”

Although the motion does not reference a specific region or territory, Independent councillor Hugh Lewis says it was designed to support Palestine in its conflict with Israel.

“This is effectively the first time Dún Laoghaire Rathdown has taken such action in solidarity with Palestinians under siege from illegal settlers in the West Bank,” he says.

However, council executive expressed a level of “concern” about the motion and will now return with a report to councillors in relation to the implementation of the change of policy.

The move comes in the same month that a newly established Dún Laoghaire branch of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been announced.

Speaking to the Southside People after the result of the vote Lewis said: “This is a small but important step for our council to adopt such a position, we call upon all other councils to follow suit and take action in solidarity with the oppressed peoples of Palestine.

“The vast majority of fellow councillors supported the motion, with only a single apologist councillor out of the 36 present at the meeting voting against,” he says.

“This is an unprecedented display of international solidarity on a local level, the result of which pronounces practical support to a just struggle against a now internationally recognised apartheid state that continues to violate international law and facilitate the expansion of such illegal settlements.”

Fine Gael councillor Jim O’Leary, who also signed the motion, says that it is a “small concrete step but maybe a bigger statement.”

A copy of the motion will also be sent to each local authority in the country.

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