Published yesterday (updated) 17/05/2010 17:36
Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority will officially launch its settlement goods boycott campaign, entitled House to House, on Tuesday at 10am across the West Bank, aimed at encouraging residents to opt for Palestinian produce instead.
The campaign, which will see over 3,000 volunteers go door-to-door to distribute the first part of a settlement produce guide, is the first leg of the PA’s attempts to encourage West Bank residents to implement a wide-ranging boycott of goods made on illegal settlements.
Municipal governors will also go door-to-door to create public awareness on the PA’s bid to clear Palestinian homes of settlement goods.
During the tour of almost 427,000 Palestinian households, volunteers will also ask residents to sign the Karama Pledge, where signatories vow not to purchase settlement goods.
Various brochures are also expected to be handed out to West Bank residents, reportedly detailing the impact settlement goods have on politics, the Palestinian community, economy, health and environment and will be encouraged to buy Palestinian produce at all levels.
On Sunday,the Washington Post reported that at least 17 businesses in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim have closed down since the start of the PA boycott several months prior.
The East Jerusalem-area settlement’s Mishor Adumim industrial zone is facing “an insufferable situation,” Avi Elkayam, who represents its 300 factory owners, was quoted as saying in reference to the PA’s efforts to isolate settlement goods from Palestinian markets and discourage Palestinians from working in settlements.
Elkayam said a stone-cutting factory closed this month because Palestinian inspectors were routinely intercepting supply trucks, making business untenable.
“We are definitely committed to a path of nonviolent resistance and defiance in the face of the settlement enterprise, and we are defiantly expressing our right to boycott those products and I believe it is working,” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told the US newspaper. “We will continue to do more.”
The report also quoted a Western diplomat who expressed concerns that the nonviolent-resistance campaign could backfire, and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who slammed the initiative.
Several high-ranking Israeli officials have said that the boycott constitutes a breach of the Oslo Accords on economic trade between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, while others have described the campaign as tantamount to incitement.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that the international Boycott and Divestment and Sanctions campaign has been gaining ground, with French citizens occupying and protesting at a local H&M store after the company announced the opening of a new shop in a Jerusalem-area mall.