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PA minister: Selling settlement-made goods is treason

Oct. 28, 2009 5:19 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2009 9:22 P.M.)
Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority’s new minister of national economy vowed on Wednesday to bring to justice anyone who deals in products produced in Israeli settlements as traitors.

“Those who trade these products will bear the stigma of treason,” Hassan Abu Libdeh told private sector and civil society figures at the offices of the ministry in Ramallah.

The minister said that the top priority of one of the ministry’s organs, the Palestinian National Committee for Organizing Domestic Market, is to enforce a boycott of settlement products.

“We are committed to help this committee reorganize the domestic economy and lay the foundation for national products to gradually replace foreign products in local markets,” added Abu Libdeh.

Anyone found to be dealing settlement-made goods will be prosecuted, he said, and the products will be destroyed.

Some 500,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. Some settlements include factories, farms, and even wineries. Activists promoting boycotts of Israeli goods often target settlement products.

Abu Libda was recently sworn in, replacing Bassem Khoury as minister of national economy. Khoury resigned earlier this month citing the PA’s handling of the UN-backed Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza.
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