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PA Minister Calls to ‘Dry Out’ Judea and Samaria Communities

The PA’s Minister of National Economy calls to continue the boycott of goods made in Judea and Samaria and to extend it internationally.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/2/2011, 5:22 AM / Last Update: 2/2/2011, 6:57 AM

Israel news photo

The Palestinian Authority’s Minister of National Economy, Dr. Hassan Abu-Libdeh, is calling to continue boycotting the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the products manufactured in them, with the ultimate goal being to “dry them out” financially.

Speaking to the PA-based Ma’an News Agency on Tuesday, Abu-Libdeh said that the boycott should be on all levels: local, regional, and international. He added that the Palestinian Authority has enacted a special law banning the purchase of products made in Judea and Samaria in order to prevent them from producing any profit in PA markets. He stressed the importance of the synergy in the official boycott which he said would cause this boycott campaign to bear fruit.

Abu-Libdeh also ridiculously claimed in the interview that boycotting products out of Judea and Samaria would be in Israel’s interests, since, as he put it, “the Israeli far right seeks to develop the settlements at the expense of the Israeli citizen.”

He added that the PA’s activities on this issue are essential in order to clean the local markets of these products and prevent them from developing at the expense of the Arab people, their land and resources.

Yet, apparently there is an exception to every rule, and this is true in this case as well. Abu-Libdeh noted that the only exception in the PA’s boycott campaign is the industrial zone in Qalandiya, where an Arab-owned glass factory exists. The PA allows Arab workers to work in this area, and Abu-Libdeh indicated that he takes responsibility for this, as Arabs can invest and buy lands in this region.

The PA boycott on products from Judea and Samaria began several months ago and was later extended to include goods made in the Jewish neighborhoods of northern, southern, and eastern Jerusalem, which means it is now in place in many areas that have been annexed to Israel and are under full Israeli sovereignty.

Abu-Libdeh’s office is known for changing the definition of the boycott to suit PA needs. A previous report by Ma’an in October said that Abu-Libdeh's office had failed to pursue an indictment against a paper mill which was caught smuggling notebooks manufactured in supposedly boycotted areas, and had excused this by saying that the area was not being boycottted due to PA investments there.