Al Rawabi 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Israeli company Ytong confirmed that it was servicing the construction of the
new Palestinian city Rawabi, but denied media reports Monday that it had agreed
to boycott settlement products.
The firm issued a denial on its website
and said it had been the victim of a “nasty manipulation.”
morning Army Radio reported that Ytong as well as Teldor Cables were among some
10 to 20 companies that had signed contracts with the developers of the new West
Bank Palestinian city, in which they agreed not to use any settlement products
in connection with work for Rawabi.
Late last month Rawabi developer
Bashar Masri told The Jerusalem Post
that anyone working on the new city had to
sign a contract to this effect and that the ban included east Jerusalem and the
He estimated that 10 to 12 Israeli companies had signed
such contracts and that another eight could joint them.
manufactures concrete blocks, said that it was in fact servicing
In its statement to the media Ytong said that it had been asked
by the Palestinians where its facilities were, and it had answered, “Ashkelon
and Pardes Hana.” Ytong said it “never imagined that this innocent answer would
link its name to the infamous boycott on settlements products.
not a partner to this boycott or any other,” it said. The company added that it
would continue to deliver its products to any place within Israel, including the
Teldor Cables told the Post
that it had no comment on the
Army Radio story.
But both names were brought up Monday in the Economics
Committee, which had already scheduled a debate on the matter.
Rosenbaum of the Ateret settlement, located near Rawabi, said he believed that
the company Aqwise was also working with Rawabi. When contacted by the Post,
Aqwise said that it also had no comment.
At the end of the meeting,
committee chairman MK Carmel Shama (Likud) called on the Civil Administration to
disclose the names of the Israeli companies working with Rawabi.
Israelis called east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights occupied just so they can
make money, the public has a right to know who they are,” said Dani Dayan, who
heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. He
was one of a number of settler leaders who attended the meeting.
called on the government to formulate a clear policy on the matter. In addition,
he asked the attorney- general to find a way to stop this phenomenon.
number of parliamentarians at the meeting reiterated calls made in the last
several weeks, to ban such companies from participating in governmental
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said, “Those who help build
Rawabi have to understand that they can not also build Tel Aviv.”
Israel Hasson (Kadima) gave a number of passionate speeches against any
legislative or judicial moves to penalize such companies, even though he himself
does not support a boycott of settlement products.
“You can’t impose a
diplomatic policy on the economic considerations of a company,” said
The public has a right to campaign against that decision and even
to boycott that company, but there is a difference between a public outcry and a
legislative ban, Hasson said.
Separately, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli
Edelstein said he plans to hold a meeting this week with settler leaders and
members of different governmental offices to talk about the issue of Israeli
companies boycotting settler goods.
“We can’t sit quietly when
construction companies are working against our country for money. They have to
know that who ever boycotts will end up being ostracized,” Edelstein
Meanwhile, the Samaria Citizens’ Committee offered NIS 500 to
anyone who could identify any of the companies. It has started a list of such
companies on its website, and has already posted the names of Teldor Cables and
At the end of December, the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel
asked the attorney- general and the Finance Ministry to amend the law regulating
governmental tenders, so that companies boycotting settlement products would be
banned from bidding for government projects.