5,000 stores undergo settlement goods inspection

Ramallah – Ma’an – Volunteers for the Palestinian Authority’s latest settlement good boycott initiative visited over 5,000 supermarkets across the West Bank on Monday, as the Shop to Shop campaign entered its second day.

Campaign directer Omar Kabha said store owners responded to volunteers, who disseminate information on the settlement goods ban and inspect supermarkets. The initiative, Kabha said, aimed at clearing the Palestinian market of such goods and allowing the national economy to “flourish” as a result.

Issam Al-Qassem, campaign coordinator, said volunteers were spreading awareness among Palestinian traders on the effect settlement goods have on the Palestinian economy.

The latest campaign has seen 653 Palestinians volunteer, mostly college and university students.

The PA announced the boycott in early 2010, which includes a ban on working in settlements and trading in settlement-made goods. Shortly after President Mahmoud Abbas approved a new law that would punish traders with up to five years in prison and hefty fines for selling settlement products.

More than 66,000 shops across the West Bank will be inspected for settlement goods. The latest initiative follows the Door to Door campaign launched in May, which saw volunteers distribute pamphlets on blacklisted goods and advice on switching to Palestinian produce.

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