Palestinians to ban products of 6 Israeli companies
A national Palestinian committee has declared a ban on the sale of products from six major Israeli companies across the occupied West Bank.
The ban is set to start on Wednesday, while Palestinian retailers will be given two weeks to remove Israeli products from Tnuva, Strauss, Osem, Elite, Prigat and Jafora companies, committee head Mahmoud al-Aloul said on Monday.
The committee that made the decision includes representatives from all Palestinian organizations and factions as well as the private sectors, Aloul added.
“Boycotting Israeli products should be a clear and consistent strategy for the Palestinians,” he noted. “It’s the first among several steps… to boycott all Israeli goods that reach the Palestinian market.”
The Palestinian official further stated that the measure is taken in response to Israel’s decision to freeze tax funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as well as other “Israeli violations,” including the “appropriation of large tracts of Palestinian land for settlement purposes.”
Tel Aviv has prevented the transfer of Palestinian tax incomes since last December in response to the PA’s application to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). The halt involves over 127 million dollars worth of value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties on Palestinian goods that pass through Israel.
Also on Monday, head of the Palestinian Customs Authority Ibrahim al-Jazarah said, “Palestinian customs officials will supervise the implementation of the decision (to boycott Israeli products) in areas where the Israeli goods are delivered.”
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel began in July 2005 by 171 Palestinian organizations, calling for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”
The BDS movement also seeks to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands and respect the right of return of Palestinian refugees.
The campaign has influenced the laws of European Union member states, which are now barred from cooperating with the Israeli companies that are linked to the occupied territories.
The EU has also blocked all grants and funding to any Israeli entity based in the illegal Israeli settlements.
Israeli illegal settlements
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on the occupied lands.