Conflicts in Middle East PA threatens reciprocal action in response to Israeli ban on Palestinian products

PA threatens reciprocal action in response to Israeli ban on Palestinian products

Palestinian dairy products

The Palestinian Authority has threatened to ban Israeli products from entering the local market in response to an Israeli ban on Palestinian dairy products in occupied Jerusalem, Felesteen newspaper reported on Tuesday. Five Palestinian companies had their products banned by the Israelis last week on the pretext that they are not up to the required production standards.

The PA described the Israeli decision as “arbitrary” and noted that this “reinforces the Israeli policy of trying to weaken the Palestinian economy and harm the industrial sector, as well as to separate East Jerusalem from its Palestinian hinterland.” Through measures such as this, the PA added, Israel seeks a monopoly of the Palestinian market in East Jerusalem.

According to local statistics, Israeli goods in the Palestinian market are worth $3.5 billion a year. Palestinian exports to Israel, in contrast, are valued at just $700 million.

Turkish news agency Anadolu quoted a PA official saying that the authority’s economy ministry had recommended the PA to ban Israeli products in markets across the occupied West Bank.

“The Israeli ban on Palestinian products carries with it a dangerous political dimension,” commented Amir Haddad, sales manager of Hammouda Dairy Products, one of the banned companies. He told Quds Press that the Israeli occupation plans to “detach” Jerusalem from the Palestinian community.

Haddad added his voice to the call for the PA to ban Israeli products in Palestinian markets in response to Israel’s decision. He suggested that banning Palestinian products will have a “large, negative effect” on the local economy and lead to hundreds of employees losing their jobs. Both the agricultural and industrial sectors will be affected, he insisted.