Palestinian govt. bans Israeli agricultural products in tit-for-tat move

Ramallah/PNN/

The Palestinian government says it has decided to put a ban on the entry of Israeli vegetables, fruits and poultry into the Palestinian markets in response to an Israeli ban on the import of corresponding Palestinian products.

The Palestinian cabinet, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, announced the decision following its weekly meeting in Ramallah City, in the central occupied West Bank, on Thursday.

“In accordance with the principle of protecting the local produce and the Palestinian farmer, in order to achieve the government’s policy of supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian farmers, and in light of the unilateral Israeli decision to prevent the entry of Palestinian vegetables and fruits into Israeli markets, the government decided to prevent the entry of all kinds of vegetables, fruits and poultry into the Palestinian markets,” the statement said.

Last week, the Israeli regime banned Palestinian agricultural products after the Palestinian government decided earlier not to allow Israeli livestock into Palestinian markets in a bid to protect the domestic livestock farmers.

According to official data, Palestinian vegetable exports to the Israeli market in 2017 reached nearly 56 million US dollars, and fruit exports hit 5 million dollars.

This comes as Palestinians have been calling for a ban on Israeli goods, urging people worldwide to unite against Tel Aviv and put an immediate embargo on Israeli products.

Over a decade ago, a coalition of worldwide organizations established an international campaign, known as the BDS, which advocates boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

The BDS aims to initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.