Israeli settlers groups called on the Israeli government to stop proximity talks with the Palestinians due to the settlements products boycott campaign that started today in the West Bank.
The Campaign “House-to-House” was launched by the Palestinian National Pride fund. Hundreds of Palestinian men and women started on early Tuesday morning to go from house to house in all Palestinian communities in the West Bank to raise awareness about the settlements products and encourage people to stop using them. The campaign is endorsed by PM Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian farmers, local made dairy products, and soft drinks industry will be one of the major benefiters of the settlements products campaign.
In total Palestinians consume up to $500 million of settlements products per year, according to Palestinian officials. The products range from nuts to construction materials.
“we will visit every house, will talk to people about the negative effects of settlements products and how to boycott it, we will give people a list of settlements products and every house will sing the Pride statement, which says we as Palestinians fight the settlements products then will but up a sticker on every house that says this house is free of settlements products.” Mohamed Lutfi, an organizer in the House-To-House campaign told PNN.
Last month the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a law banning settlements products. By the new law those how trade in settlements products may face 7 years of imprisonment or a fine of up to $14,000.
Settlers groups were outraged by the campaign. The settlement Yesha Council on Tuesday called the campaign a “economic terror”. The settlers called upon Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the American mediated proximity talks with Fayyad as he is leading this “economic terror” campaign as settlers called it.
“We do not take care about the comments by those occupying settlers, those have stolen our land and our natural resources, and we believe that settlements built on our lands are illegal, and they have to evacuate those settlements sooner or later, originally the peace process is based on ending the occupation and removing settlements.” Ghassan Al Khateeb, director of the Palestinian Government Press office told PNN.
The Palestinian-Israeli proximity talks mediated by Washington started last week. The talks faced obstacles due to the Israeli government’s policies towards settlement just one day after it started. Proximity talks are expected to resume this week. There are 1/2 a million settlers living in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem. According to international law all those settlements are illegal.