Simon Coveney said that a trade ban with Israel would not help towards a two-state solution in the Middle EastBrian Lawless/PA

Simon Coveney has dismissed a proposed trade ban with Israel as a divisive move that would make peace in the Middle East even more difficult.

The tánaiste was speaking as the government came under pressure to stop importing goods and services from illegally occupied territories after a bill made progress in the Seanad yesterday.

It is estimated that the value of such imports to Ireland is up to €1 million a year. Legal advice from the attorney-general said that the bill would breach the European Union’s common commercial policy but it is understood that Fianna Fáil has received legal advice advising that a trade ban is possible.

The bill, introduced by Frances Black, the independent senator, passed its second stage last night by 25 votes…