Published today (updated) 24/05/2010 19:55
Jerusalem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Palestinians are opposing economic peace with Israel and are “taking steps that in the end hurt themselves,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud party members on Monday.
“Israel is aiming for peace and economic prosperity,” Netanyahu said, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote. “The Palestinians must decide if they are aiming for peace or not.”
The Israeli premier’s comments follow the launch of the Palestinian Authority’s House to House anti-settlement goods campaign, aimed at riding Palestinian homes in the West Bank of illegal settlement produce and to get consumers to opt for Palestinian goods.
“We have removed checkpoints, eased the lives of Palestinians and are working all the time to advance the Palestinian economy,” Netanyahu told Likud members at a party meeting.
Netanyahu further cited Palestinian opposition to Israel’s recent entrance to the OECD, for which it provided economic data on illegal settlements as part of its application portfolio.
Israel and the PA ratified the Paris Accords shortly after the Oslo Accords in 1993, which aimed at facilitating Israeli-Palestinian trade. The agreement, however, covers produce made within Israel’s internationally recognized boundaries, inside the 1967 green line, which do not constitute the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
President Mahmud Abbas signed the Karama Pledge on Saturday, committing himself to the boycott of all goods made in illegal West Bank settlements, and declaring his home “free” of the offending products.
In a show of support for the campaign, lead by his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Abbas applied a sticker to his door, as a public display of his commitment to the efforts, which have drawn recent ire from Israeli officials. which commits the citizens not to allow settlement goods in their houses and then he put a sticker on the door of his house which indicates that it is empty from settlement goods.
As he applied the Karama Pledge sticker to his door, Abbas told gathered campaign members that Palestinians “should not spend money on goods manufactured on land taken over by settlements,” and congratulated all of the young supporters of the movement, who volunteered to carry out a door-to-door campaign handing out lists of goods to avoid for those participating in the boycott.