Palestinians march to boycott Israeli settlement products in Hebron

January 22, 2016 /

The Palestinian National Initiative’s Bader Boycott Campaign held a march in Hebron city on Thursday to call for Palestinians to ramp up their efforts in boycotting Israeli settlement goods, Yousef Tmeiza, coordinator of the PNI told Ma’an.Tmeiza said the march set off from the al-Hussien Mosque next to the Martyrs Cemetery and continued to the Ibin Rashid junction in Hebron city. He added that the march is just one of many new initiatives planned by the Bader Campaign to encourage the boycott movement. During the march, protester stopped at markets along the way, encouraging shop keepers to stop carrying Israeli settlement products. Marchers raised Palestinian flags and called for the boycott of settlement goods as a means to resist Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory. Protesters also held posters depicting Ali Dawabsha, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby who was burned alive by Israeli settlers in July, as well as hunger-striking journalist Muhammad al-Qiq and 13-year-old Ahmad Manasra, who is being charged with two counts of attempted murder after an October stabbing attack in Jerusalem. One participant at the march told Ma’an that he supports the boycott of Israeli goods because “the money from their products goes to the Israeli army and helps to murder Palestinians on a daily basis.”During Israel’s Gaza offensive in 2014, the Palestinian Authority created a campaign to encourage the boycott of Israeli settlement products across the occupied West Bank.The PA announced its boycott of settlement produce in early 2010, however because of the struggling economy, the confiscation of Palestinian farmland and difficult import procedures put in place by Israeli authorities, many markets continue to sell settlement products, including produce.Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and have long been considered one of the major obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement.Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Israeli and international businesses to withdraw from Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, saying they “contribute to and benefit from” Israeli violations.The international rights group said in a statement that Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights — as well as international humanitarian law — were “intrinsic to abusive, harmful, and longstanding policies in the West Bank.”The group documented around 20 settlement industrial zones that hold about 1,000 factories as well as around 9,300 hectares of Palestinian land cultivated by Israeli settlers working for external businesses.Palestinian policy network Al-Shabaka reported last month that the ongoing occupation has stifled Palestinian economic growth while producing billions of dollars in Israeli revenue.”Every dollar of stone that settlement businesses extract and sell from the West Bank is a dollar taken from Palestinians,” HRW’s Ganesan said.He added that “the bottom line is no settlement business should be operating and profiting from land and resources illegally taken from the Palestinian people.”Since 1967, Israel has established about 150 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem in addition to some 100 “outposts” erected by settlers without official authorization, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is now nearing 600,000, with 43 percent of the occupied West Bank allocated to local settler councils.

Source Ma’an News Agency