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
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
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.
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.