Daily Israel Report

Rawabi Builder Adds Fuel:“100” Israeli Companies Want to Join Up

Builder of new PA city claims 100 Israeli companies wish to take part – and will have to boycott Jewish-made goods from Golan, Judea/Samaria, etc.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/6/2011, 12:42 PM / Last Update: 1/6/2011, 12:36 PM

Bashar Al-Masri, the builder of a scheduled new city in PA-controlled Samaria, claims that 100 Israeli companies wish to take part in the enterprise – despite the fact that they will be required to boycott all Israeli goods made in the Golan, Judea, Samaria and liberated Jerusalem.

Al-Masri spoke with Voice of Israel’s Reshet Bet radio this morning, and said that 12 companies have already signed the contract. The contract stipulates that the companies are “forbidden to use or employ a product and/or services and/or resources manufactured and/or originating in the Israeli settlements for the purposes of or related to this agreement… The areas include, but are not restricted to, occupied eastern Jerusalem, the conquered West Bank, the conquered Gaza Strip [no longer under Israeli control – ed.], the conquered Golan Heights, or any part thereof, or any other area that fits the above definition.”

Earlier this week, Knesset Members of several parties signed a call for government ministers to boycott the Israeli companies that themselves agreed to boycott Israeli areas. In addition, Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, said, “It is disgraceful that just in order to make a few shekels, Israeli companies are willing to sell their Zionist soul to sign an agreement with the enemy that calls parts of their country and their capital ‘occupied’ … It is shameful that they cave in to and join the Arab boycott of Israeli companies."

The names of the companies are not known, and no proof of their signing such a contract has been produced. Army Radio reported last week that over 20 Israeli companies had agreed to sign the contract with the developers, but provided no further information.

Construction work for Rawabi is underway just north and south of the pioneering Jewish towns of Ateret and Ma'aleh Levonah, respectively, in the hills of Binyamin. Some 25,000 Arabs are set to live there, in the first stage. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not yet agreed to allocate land to the PA for a highway leading south from Rawabi towards Ramallah, thus hampering the area’s development. However, Dayan said the city can be built even without the highway. Apartment buildings in Rawabi have not yet been built, but one structure in a possible future industrial zone has already been partially built.