Yesterday, the Israeli government threatened to officially ban Palestinian products from the Isreali markets unless the Palestinian boycott of Israeli calves and sheep is lifted.
Major General Kamil Abu Rukun, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, stated that “Israel will not allow boycotts of any kind against Israeli produce.” He further added that “Because of the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral decision, which is hurting the economies of both sides, and after several inquiries to resolve the issue on various levels, I have warned that if the situation does not return to normal, we will not allow much of the Palestinian agricultural produce to enter Israel.”
The spokesman for the Palestinian Authorities, Ibrahim Melhem, is not impressed with the threat and responded that Palestinians had a right to diversity in the items in its markets. In order to redirect the economy in the direction of Arab products, the PA has prohibited its farmers to buy calves and sheep from Israeli agriculture since mid-september.
Melhem also repeated that the PA has decided to switch from medical services acquired from hospitals in Israel to those purchased from Egypt and Jordan. It should be noted that these measures fit in the PA’s long term strategy of slowly disengaging from the Israeli economy and, therefore, from the occupation.