Boycott? PA Reports Increase in Imports from Israel
The Palestinian Authority (PA) really likes Israeli-made products and even prefers them over those of other countries, according to newly released statistics.
In fact, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported Friday, the PA has seen an increase in both importing from Israel and exporting to Israel.
According to the statistics, in January, the PA’s exports declined by 8.7 percent compared with the previous month, but its scope, which amounted to 68.6 million, was still larger by 10.1 percent compared to the same month last year.
Almost all the PA’s exports in January, 90.2 percent, were to Israel, the statistics found.
As for imports, the PA’s imports in January rose by 7.9 percent compared to December of 2013. Imports from Israel grew at a rate of 17.2%, while imports from other countries were down 16.4% compared to January of 2013.
The numbers come after a report last month indicated that 70% of the PA's imports were from Israel, with imports worth $3.5 billion entering the PA from Israel.
Merchants said at the time that PA consumers prefer Israeli goods because they believe they are higher quality than cheaper local products or products from Arab countries. Israeli-made products are popularly priced, and consumers believe they get good value for money when they buy “blue and white.”
In 2011, the PA announced a boycott on products from Judea and Samaria and later extended the boycott to include goods made in the Jewish neighborhoods of northern, southern, and eastern Jerusalem.
The PA’s Finance Ministry, however, has in the past changed the definition of the boycott to suit PA needs. At one point, the PA ministry had failed to pursue an indictment against a paper mill which was caught smuggling notebooks manufactured in supposedly boycotted areas, and excused this by saying that the area was not being boycottted due to PA investments there.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)