The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday welcomed the decision of Ben & Jerry's to halt sales in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
The PA “ministry of foreign affairs” said in a statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency that the company's decision is "moral and legal," adding that the decision is "consistent with the rules of international law."
The statement added that international law "refuses to deal with the illegal and immoral system of settlements that Israel is entrenching and expanding in the land of Palestine."
It called on companies working directly or indirectly with Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria "to take similar actions immediately and stop dealings and business and be consistent with human rights principles and international law."
"The ministry will do everything possible through the rules of international law to hold accountable those who still insist on violating the rights of our Palestinian people," the statement added.
On Monday, Ben & Jerry’s issued a statement saying that it will no longer sell its products in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners," the statement said.
While the global Ben & Jerry’s corporation announced it would no longer sell its products in Judea and Samaria, it currently is incapable of carrying out that boycott.
Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel is produced by an Israeli company, also named Ben & Jerry's, which is licensed to produce the sweet dessert. This Israeli company, which operates out of Be'er Tuvia, is not boycotting any part of Israel. Their license only expires at the end of 2022.
Until then, Jews living in Judea and Samaria will continue to find Ben & Jerry's ice cream in their stores.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Alan Jope, the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, telling him that Israel views the boycott as a clear anti-Israel step.
“As far as the State of Israel is concerned, this move will have serious repercussions, both legal and otherwise, and Israel will act aggressively against any effort to boycott its citizens,” Bennett told Jope.
The call took place after Israel’s ambassador to the United States urged the governors of 35 states to activate their respective states’ anti-BDS laws against Ben & Jerry’s.
“In addition to the great moral difficulties that derive from such a boycott, Ben & Jerry’s announced policy seems to also trigger potential legal ramifications, based on laws legislated by over 35 States, including your state, meant to counter these types of hate driven boycotts,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote to the governors.