PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA chairman Mahmoud AbbasFlash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) “foreign affairs ministry” on Sunday called on the world’s countries to withdraw the licenses of organizations and associations that support “Israeli settlements”.

In a statement quoted by the PA’s official Wafa news agency, the bureau said that it is following with great concern the “hostile activities” of a number of pro-settlement organizations registered as non-profit associations and organizations in a number of foreign countries, which carry out their activities in promoting and expanding settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The PA “ministry” added that these associations work through a wide network to collect donations for the benefit of the settlements, either to build more new settlement units, build infrastructure and streets for settlements, plant large areas of those lands, or plant fruitful trees for the benefit of the settlers and their associations.

The ministry considered that these organizations are “hostile to the Palestinian people and participate in the escalation of the racist colonial aggression against them”, stressing that it will continue to follow up on the involvement of these organizations in the crime of settlement, documenting and limiting their hostile and illegal activities, in cooperation with many local and international partners, including Israeli organizations.

It stated that it will start legal follow-up and accountability for their crimes at all levels, including submitting reports to the United Nations and its bodies and councils, especially the Human Rights Council.

This is not the first time that the PA has called for an Israel-related boycott. In 2020, PA cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh called on EU states to require international businesses in Judea and Samaria to cease operations.

His call came after the UN Human Rights Council released a "blacklist" of "settler companies".

In 2014, the PA encouraged its residents to boycott products made in Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.

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 boycotted due to PA investments there.