The Palestinian Authority has condemned Amazon over its policy that allows Israeli settlers living in settlements free delivery but charges Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, calling on the online retail giant to cease its discriminatory practice against Palestinians.
Palestinian Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, and Palestinian Minister for National Economy Khaled al-Osaily, in two identical letters, addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Wednesday, expressed astonishment over the company’s recent decision.
“It is unacceptable for Amazon to flaunt international law in such away. Nearly 140 UN member states – a vast majority – have formally recognized Palestine as a state. Yet Amazon, using its overwhelming financial and commercial clout, now seeks to extract from Palestinians a formal admission that they are part of Israel,” the letter read.
The two Palestinian ministers then accused Amazon of aiding and abetting the Tel Aviv regime’s violation of international law as regards free shipping to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank which are illegal under international law.
“Amazon’s reprehensible practice must cease immediately,” they said. “If it does not do so, then the world will come to realize that the lofty words and aspirations of Amazon’s commitment to equality, fairness and corporate social responsibility are entirely hollow,” Bishara and Osaily pointed out.
Last week, the English-language international daily newspaper Financial Times revealed that upon running West Bank addresses listed as Israeli through Amazon’s delivery portal, the online retailer offers free shipping to settlements on the occupied Palestinian territory.
Customers who select “Palestinian Territories” as their address, however, are subject to shipping and handling fees upwards of $24.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
According to human rights groups, incidents of sabotage and violence by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians and their property are a daily occurrence throughout the West Bank.