Bethlehem – Ma”an – Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched on Tuesday the National Dignity Fund, as part of an initiative undertaken by the Palestinian Authority to rid the Palestinian market of settlement goods at a ceremony in the Red Crescent headquarters in Al-Birreh, Ramallah.
The National Dignity Fund aims at increasing the availability of Palestinian produce in local markets, in addition to strengthening their presence in global markets as an alternative to goods made on illegal Israeli settlements, Fayyad said during his speech.
“The liberalization of the domestic and global markets from products settlements is a collective responsibility that requires concerted efforts at all official and popular levels, the Palestinian authority will be the first supporter for these efforts” Fayyad said.
The Ramallah-based prime minister applauded the stance of countries which have enforced a boycott on settlement goods in their market, and considered it an international duty for others to participate, citing that a boycott will exert pressure on Israel to bring a halt to settlement activity.
In response to accusations launched by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his weekly cabinet meeting, stating that the Palestinian Authority’s boycott is incitement, Fayyad said: “This national effort is not an expression of hatred. It is not ethnic, cultural or religious incitement, as some Israeli leaders have described it. We are not boycotting goods produced in Israel, [but rather] we are clearing the Palestinian market of Israeli settlement goods.”
The PA will contribute 250,000 US dollars, he added, noting that 25% of this contribution will go directly to the National Dignity Fund.
Minister of National Economy Hassan Abu Libdah, whose ministry organized the inauguration ceremony, said that the new initiative falls squarely within the political program of the Palestine Liberation Organization, adding that the move will not lead to the departure of settlers from occupied Palestinian land, but will “liberate the Palestinian national economy from the clutches of subordination and dependence on the Israeli occupation,” he said.