Leaders of the settler movement in the occupied West Bank demanded the Israeli government to withhold all funds meant for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for boycotting settlement products and for forbidding the Palestinian workers from working in Jewish settlements. Danny Dayan, head of the Settlement Council, stated that the decision of the Palestinian Authority is “hostile” and called on the Israeli government to withhold all Palestinian funds.
Dayan added that Israel has “sufficient economical means to oblige the Palestinian Authority to retract its decision”.
Palestinian Economy Minister, Hasan Abu Libda, stated that the Palestinians should completely stop working and dealing with Israeli settlements by the beginning of next year as part of the boycott campaign against settlements in the occupied territories.
Abu Libda added that there is a proposed law that aims at severing all economic ties with settlements and that any Palestinian who violates this law would be imprisoned for a maximum of five years and would be obliged to pay a 14.000 USD fine.
He stated that those who work in settlements help in boosting the economy of settlers and deserve to be punished.
Last month, president Abbas signed a law forbidding settlement products in the Palestinian territories and preventing the Palestinians from working in settlements.
Abu Libda told Reuters that since the Palestinians started the boycott campaign in January, the number of Palestinians who work in the settlements dropped from 33.000 to 25.000.
The Palestinians who work in settlements usually conduct construction work and agriculture.
Abu Libda stated that all workers must stop working in settlements by the end of this year.
He stated that the Palestinian Authority would provide incentives to Palestinian companies in order to hire those who used to work in settlements.
The boycott campaign only includes settlements and settlement products, and does not include products made in Israel.
The official said that settlement products worth nearly 200 Million USD were confiscated from Palestinian markets.
He said that Israel’s outrage over boycotting settlement products in irrational as the Palestinian Authority does violate signed peace deals when it boycotts settlements.
Abu Libda told Reuters that the campaign should send a message to the settlers that it is not profitable for them to continue living in the settlements.