Abbas in Ramallah supermarket.
(photo credit: COURTESY: WAFA)
The Palestinian Authority on Monday announced a ban on products from six major Israeli companies, as part of a renewed effort to boycott all such goods in the Palestinian territories.
Starting Wednesday, goods from the Strauss Group, Tnuva, Osem, Elite, Prigat, and Jafora-Tabori will no longer be sold in Palestinian stores, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud al-Aloul told journalists in Ramallah, according to WAFA, the Palestinian News and Information Agency.
The sellers are to be given two-weeks to get rid of existing products from the banned companies.
The minister of the Ramallah region for Fatah, Mwafaq Sahwil, said “there will be decisions in relation to all Israeli goods, and the committees will work to prevent the arrival and sale of Israeli goods to the Palestinian market,” the Ma’an news agency reported.
Aloul said this initial step is a direct response to Israel’s decision to freeze the tax revenues it has collected on behalf of the PA for the last two months, as well as to continued settlement activity.
Israel froze the tax revenues in response to the PA’s decision to join the International Criminal Court and to prepare to sue Israel for alleged war crimes. The court is weighing whether to accept a case against Israel.
The PA has in the past banned Israeli products, but has not enforced a boycott in the last few years. The boycott was not sustainable, because there were no alternatives for the products.
Israel and the Palestinian territories are part of the same customs envelope and Israeli goods are not considered exported items.
The Prime Minister’s Office had no response to the announcement, but in the past Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out against attempts to boycott Israeli products and goods produced in West Bank settlements.
The European Union has focused its attention on the legal issues surrounding the sale of Israeli goods from West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu last week visited a Jerusalem event in support of West Bank settlement products.
Yigal Dilmoni, the deputy director of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, said, “The Israeli economy is strong and will know how to handle these challenges. Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] should think carefully about his own economy,” he said.