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Palestinian party launches boycott Israel campaign

Tuesday December 18, 2012 09:29:34 PM, IINA

Ramallah: The Palestinian National Initiative Party yesterday launched a new phase of the boycott campaign against products manufactured in Israel and its settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Party and a member of the Palestine Legislative Council, said that the phase of the “Bader Campaign” is targeting products originating in Israel and its settlements.


Al-Barghouthi said that the store-to-store and home-to-home campaign will educate Palestinian consumers and merchants which products to boycott.


The Palestinian lawmaker said that “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.”


He added that the previous phases of the campaign succeeded in lowering the consumption of an Israeli originated soft drink by 70 percent.

The development comes a day after Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on Palestinians to boycott not only settler products, but all Israeli manufactured goods.


“We call on Palestinian citizens to stop purchasing Israeli goods as a way of resisting the occupation,” Fayyad told Palestinian reporters in Ramallah.


The Palestinian premier said his call for a total boycott of Israeli products came also in response to the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenues belonging to the PA.


The campaign against settlements products is backed by the 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 have to face three to six years imprisonment, 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.


The PA has so far confiscated and destroyed millions US dollars worth of settlement products. It indicted hundreds of Palestinian merchants who violated the boycott of the settlements products.


He urged the Arab countries to fulfill their promise to provide the Palestinian Authority (PA) with $100 million each month to solve its severe financial crisis.

He said that the $100 million was less than a third of what his government needs to meet its monthly financial obligations.


Fayyad noted that although this was not the first time that Israel had withheld funds, this time it took the liberty to use the money.


He was referring to the Israeli government’s decision to transfer 420 million Israeli shekel (some $120 million) in tax revenues more to the Israel Electricity Company to pay the PA’s debts.






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