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PA Destroys 7 Tons of Yesha Watermelons

The PA smashes 7.5 tons of watermelons and will put merchants on trial for doing business with Jews in Judea and Samaria. Fayyad's goal: Jerusalem.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 4/18/2010, 3:46 PM / Last Update: 4/18/2010, 5:31 PM

Israel news photo

Palestinian Authority officials smashed 7.5 tons of watermelons over the past week and vowed to put the merchants who were selling the produce on trial for “collaborating” with Israel. At the same time, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met with officials to announce special "plans" for Jerusalem.

PA "enforcers" have been inspecting local merchants throughout the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria in search of lawbreakers -- storekeepers who do business with their Jewish neighbors.

The watermelons, which had been grown by Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, are considered contraband by the PA government, which has boycotted all Israeli goods from the region. The PA has now apparently extended that boycott to fruits and vegetables as well.

The destruction of the watermelons was done on the spot, with government enforcers grabbing the fruit and smashing it at the stalls of the merchants.

“The destruction of the watermelons was done publicly,” explained the PA in an official statement to the media, “so that the PA merchants will not be tempted to bring in merchandise from the settlements. “We will not stop at barring goods and destroying them,” the statement continued, “but we will also put on trial merchants caught with such products.”

The Palestinian Authority maintains the death penalty for offenders charged with “collaboration” with Israel. It is possible that doing business with Israeli merchants under the current circumstances could be considered a form of collaboration with Israel.

Fayyad Announces 'Plans for Jerusalem'
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who initiated the boycott, is also proceeding with his plan to unilaterally declare the establishment of the PA as a new Arab country in August 2011. Fayyad, who has said that he intends to use the parts of Jerusalem that were restored to Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War as the new country's capital, said Sunday at a meeting that the PA plans to build new neighborhoods there.

“Jerusalem is ours,” he said, “and we have many programs in Jerusalem in the areas of health and education.” According to a reporter for the PA-linked Wafa news agency, Fayyad requested that other portions of his discussion be kept private.

Fayyad reportedly told the meeting that he was relying on the international community, including the European Union and the United States, to ensure that the PA would be able to declare its new country in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

“Not a divided state, but a state in all the occupied lands and Jerusalem,” Fayyad was quoted as saying. “Without Jerusalem, there will be no state.”

He also publicly supported the launch of a third intifada, but called it a “non-violent uprising” instead of “violent terror attacks.”

"The previous uprisings proved themselves,” he added, “gaining unprecedented support of the international community for the Palestinian people.”