Ramallah, Saudi Gazette - The Palestinian Authority (PA) has confiscated and destroyed $1.5 million worth of settlement products since the beginning of 2013. The Palestinian Ministry of National Economy said in a press statement that the products included food, tobacco, beverages, crude oil and related materials, vegetable oils and animal fats and waxes, chemical products and manufactured goods.
The ministry said it will go ahead with the national campaign to boycott the settlements’ products “as a way of resisting the occupation.”
It added that “the lowering of the consumption rate of Israeli products by 10 percent will allow Palestinians to create 150,000 job opportunities to unemployed Palestinians and will protect Palestinian industries.”
The ministry called on the international community to boycott products originating in Jewish settlements. “Blocking the settlements’ goods emphasizes the international resolution about the illegitimacy and illegality of the settlements that were built on occupied Palestinian land,” Naji said. It warned that Israel may hide the real information on the settlements’ products and promote them as goods made in Israel, not in the settlements.
The campaign against settlements products, which was launched in 2010, is backed by a law signed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The new law states that anyone who deals in products produced in settlements will be imprisoned for two to five years and pay a fine of up to $14,000. Those who import settlement products into the Palestinian territories are threatened with three to six years, fines of up to $3,000, and the confiscation of their licenses and vehicles.
The PA hopes that the boycott will encourage the international community to adopt a stronger stance against settlements while helping end the Palestinian economy’s dependence on Israel. In addition to forcing Israeli factories in West Bank settlements to shut down or relocate inside Israel, the campaign is deterring other Israeli businesses from moving to the West Bank industrial zones, which were originally set up to be closer to Palestinian laborers, many of whom are denied permits to work inside Israel.