Government backs settlement goods ban

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Following Israeli complaints about the Palestinian Authority ban on settlement goods in the West Bank, the Government Media Center issued a statement confirming that the “campaign is implementing the rule of law.”

In the statement, PA officials reiterated their commitment to “all economic agreements with Israel,” but said authorities would not back down from efforts to replace the “illegal products of Israel”s settlement [with] legal Palestinian and other imported products.”

The statement reiterated the government, and international law’s stance on settlements, noting “settlements are illegal and everything produced by them is illegal,” and explaining that customs officials and lawmakers “make a distinction between goods produced in Israel and goods produced in settlements on occupied Palestinian land.”

The effort was termed part of the Palestinian state building plan, and the distinction between Israeli and settlement goods was explained as part of a commitment to “the two states solution and previous agreements.”

The report said the some 200 million US dollars Palestinians heretofore contributed to settlement economies annually by the purchase of goods manufactured and produce grown in the illegal industrial zones, will be “channeled to Palestinian made products, [and will] provide more local job opportunities and lay the foundation for true economic independence.”

The statement said calls from the Knesset by some Israeli politicians to raise the subject in the proximity talks “an excuse for derailing the political process.”

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