June 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched on Monday a new campaign of boycotting products made at Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The campaign called "The Legion of National Dignity from Shop to Shop," which was carried out by volunteer students and academics, aimed at persuading store-keepers and owners to stop dealing with products made at Jewish settlements and boycotting their presence in the West Bank.

Accompanied by other Palestinian National Authority (PNA) officials, Fayyad told reporters as he visited the first store to launch the campaign that the campaign "is an important episode of the exerted national efforts on both official and domestic levels to completely clear settlement products from the Palestinian markets."

Fayyad expected that by the end of this year, the Palestinian markets will be completely emptied of settlements products.

Fayyad reiterated that the campaign "is achieving a tremendous success," adding that "there is a Palestinian consensus to reject the Israeli project of settlement and all its products."

The PNA, which was holding proximity talks with Israel sponsored by the United States, insisted that Israel should halt all settlement activities and constructions, including the natural growth of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, before moving to face-to-face negotiations.

"This effort is completely going in harmony with the main goal of the PNA's program which aims at preparing for the establishment of the independent state of Palestine on all the Palestinian territories occupied (by Israel) in 1967 and achieving self independence," Fayyad told reporters.

Fayyad's new campaign would last for one week, and would target 60,000 stores and shops all over the West Bank. The campaigners would ask the shop owners and keepers to boycott the settlement products.

According to the campaigners, every dealer and vendor would receive a pamphlet that includes directions and instructions related to boycotting the settlement products, which also include a document of oath and a commitment to boycotting these products.

Hassan Abu Lebda, the PNA minister of economy, said that any store shows that it is empty of any kinds of settlement products " would be given a reward."

The PNA minister called on all local dealers, vendors and store owners to share the Palestinian government and cooperate with it " in fighting and boycotting the settlement products in order to aid the national products and empower an independent Palestinian economy."

Fayyad's new campaign came two months after the PNA launched its first popular campaign to boycott settlement products, which was called "From House to House." The strategy aimed at explaining to the population instructions over how to boycott the settlement products.

The first campaign of boycotting settlement products began on Nov. 1, 2009, which aimed at stopping the flow of settlement products to the Palestinian markets. Some dealers who used to import these products were stopped by the PNA security forces.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree calling on the Palestinians to boycott the Jewish settlement products in the West Bank. Israel was outraged by the Palestinian decision and considered it as a PNA attempt to pressure on Israel in the negotiations.

Unofficial figures revealed that the Palestinian markets in the West Bank used to consume 200 million dollars of products made at Jewish settlements in the West Bank every year.


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