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Abbas Urges Europe to Boycott Businesses in the 'Settlements'

In Europe, PA Chairman urges companies not to deal with businesses in “occupied Palestinian territory”.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/24/2013, 6:40 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday urged European and other foreign companies not to deal with businesses based in Israeli communities in what he considers “occupied Palestinian territory” - meaning eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

"I call on European companies and foreign companies doing business in the settlements to put an end to their activities," he said after a meeting with European Council president Herman van Rompuy in Brussels, reported AFP.

"Such activities are a violation of international law," said Abbas.

The PA Chairman said that such a boycott should not be aimed at the state of Israel but should be targeted at Jewish communities located in so-called “occupied territories”.

Several months ago, the European Union published new guidelines which boycott Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.

The guidelines forbid EU member states from cooperating, transferring funds, giving scholarships or research grants to bodies in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem , and even the Golan Heights.

Israel has warned that it might shun a key EU research program unless a compromise is found over the bloc's boycotting guidelines. Hundreds of legal experts from Israel and around the world have written to the EU’s Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton and asked her to annul the boycott.

Abbas’s comments on Wednesday were made as part of his trip to several European countries. He has taken advantage of the trip to condemn Israel and claim that the “settlements” are an obstacle to peace.

On Tuesday, Abbas warned that Israel would be to blame if ongoing peace talks collapsed over its demand to keep military forces in the Jordan Valley.

"We will not accept it, and if they (the talks) collapse, they (Israelis) will be the reason for the collapse, not us," he said in an interview with the Baltic News Service.

A day earlier, after Abbas met with the president of Lithuania, she called on Israel "to end the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories.” She then insisted that that "the European Union does not recognize settlements as part of Israel."

Last Friday, in a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abbas slammed Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

Terming the Jewish communities in these regions "illegal", Abbas said Israeli construction had "in fact, increased enormously."

Merkel, too, urged Israel to show "restraint" in the building of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Israel and the PA resumed peace talks this past summer, following pressure by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who travelled to the region several times in an attempt to get the sides talking.

Abbas, despite agreeing to the peace talks without preconditions, declared after the talks started that unless Israel meets all of his preconditions, there will be no peace.

He has also continued to incite to terror and hatred of Israel, by honoring and glorifying terrorists who killed dozens of Israelis.