Palestinian Authority Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh warned Palestinians on Thursday against shopping at Rami Levy supermarkets in the West Bank.

Thousands of Palestinians converge every day on the Rami Levy supermarkets at Sha’ar Binyamin and Mishor Adumim, the only two branches in the West Bank. The two stores also employ dozens of Palestinians.

This was the first threat of its kind issued by the PA against Palestinians who visited the Israeli supermarkets, which are named after their founder.

Levy, who was born in a tin shack in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood in 1955, founded the company in 1976. He has never lived in a settlement.

The supermarket chain has 16 branches all over the country.

Abu Libdeh said in an interview with the local Al-Watan TV station that the PA knew the names of individuals and families who shop in the Rami Levy stores.

He condemned the phenomenon of Palestinians buying goods at the Israeli supermarkets in the West Bank as a “big disgrace.”

Abu Libdeh said the PA was serious in implementing the decision to boycott settlement-made goods. Nevertheless, he denied that the boycott was politically motivated or had anything to do with the resumption of indirect negotiations between the PA and Israel.

The boycott was intended to “cleanse” the Palestinian market of settlement products and boost Palestinians’ confidence in their national products, he said.

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