Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a new law on Monday banning settlement products in PA-controlled areas.

Hassan al-Ouri, a legal adviser to Abbas, said that the new law was based on the grounds that the settlements were “cancers in the Palestinian body.” He said the law signed by Abbas was designed to confront the settlements with all means available to the Palestinians.

Ouri said Palestinians who purchased such products helped to “fatten and legitimize” settlements.

The new law also calls for punitive measures against any Palestinian who violates it, including confiscation of the merchandise.

The adviser said Abbas had been forced to issue the law in the absence of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the only body entitled to do so.

The PLC has been effectively paralyzed since Hamas seized full control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

Abbas’s law follows a campaign by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, launched last January, to rid the Palestinian market of settlement goods.

Fayyad also announced that his cabinet would contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the newly-created National Dignity Fund, whose main task is to increase the availability of Palestinian produce in local markets.

The PA prime minister later took part in a demonstration in which products made in settlements were burned. The products had been confiscated from Palestinian shops in the Nablus area.

At the protest, Fayyad said the future Palestinian state would be “free of fences and settlements.”

Fayyad’s anti-settlement drive has thus far resulted in the confiscation of products worth more than $1 million, a PA official said.

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