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Gaza ministry says 'settlement products' seized at border crossing

Aug. 28, 2015 2:30 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2015 9:33 P.M.)
The Kerem Shalom crossing is used for transporting commercial goods between Gaza and Israel. (AFP/File Said Khatib)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Economy in the Gaza Strip said Friday that it had seized a shipment of doors at the Kerem Shalom crossing which had allegedly been produced in an illegal Israeli settlement.

Over 200 Rav Bariach doors were confiscated while goods were being checked at the crossing between Gaza and Israel.

While the producer of the doors, the Swedish Multi-T-Lock company, was located in the illegal settlement of Barkan for one year, the company had relocated its facilities out of the settlement in 2012 and now resides in the city of Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Multi-T-Lock's move followed Unilever's relocation of its Bagel-Bagel factory, which left its factory in Barkan after South Africa's decision to label settlement-made products.

The Rav Bariach doors were allegedly part of materials to be used for the reconstruction of Gaza following Israel's deadly war last summer.

The ministry, which was under the impression that the doors were currently being produced within the illegal settlement, said that settlement products should have no role in rebuilding Gaza.

The Barkan settlement is part of the greater Ariel settlement block and is home to the Barkan industrial complex where around 120 plants produce goods within the illegal settlement.

Established in 1982, the complex covers over 1,300 dunams (about 325 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank.

Up to 80 percent of the complex's products are exported, according to Haaretz.

Barkan is one of four industrial zones located in the occupied West Bank.

Growing Pressure

Last month, the EU pushed through a decision to introduce labels on products made in illegal Israeli settlements.

Ongoing EU demands for Israel to change its settlement policy as well as increasing moves to divest from illegal settlements come as a campaign of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel has gained steam.

In 2014 foreign investments in Israel dropped by more than half, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

News outlets and analysts speculate the dip in foreign investments was in part due to boycott campaigns, a changing international attitude towards Israel's illegal settlements, and Israel's latest Gaza offensive, where more than 2,200 Gazans were killed.

While the international community has increasingly expressed its disapproval of Israel's illegal settlement expansion, Israel has continued to add to existing settlements, as well as build new settlements at an exponential rate.

The right-wing government pieced together by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in March is largely comprised of MK's that promote settlement expansion throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and publicly oppose an independent Palestinian state.

Since Netanyahu's re-election last year, there has been a 40 percent increase in new settlement construction with an average of 460 new residential units per month, according to Israeli settlement watchdog, Peace Now.
Comments
Hope / Canada
Who cares? Let them have homes without doors.
28/08/2015 15:02
Dimi / Germany
Many of those who produce doors in the settlements are certainly
Palestinians who are in a risk to loose their jobs. Think first and act later!
28/08/2015 18:48
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