Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees
Britain’s fifth-largest food retailers’ boycott on products from Israeli settlements has outraged officials in Tel Aviv who say the ban will have damaging impact on the whole Israeli products.
Britain’s Cooperative Group, which is one of the biggest retailers across Europe, announced on Sunday that it will “no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements.”
Israeli regime’s foreign ministry has criticized the move saying it is targeted at the entire occupied territories rather than the settlements.
“They say they are targeting settlement products, but in fact they are targeting everything that is Israeli,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.
“The settlements are a pretext. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement boycotts everything that is Israeli,” he added.
The Cooperative Group first halted purchases from the settlements in 2009, but the new ban will affect four major companies, which bring in products from the settlements.
The ban will leave a £350,000 black hole in the sales of the suppliers Agrexco, Arava Export Growers and Adafresh as well as Israeli regime’s largest agricultural export company, Mehadrin.
Pro-Palestinian activists have welcomed the move as a slap in the face of the Israeli regime.
“Israeli agricultural export companies like Mehadrin profit from and are directly involved in the ongoing colonisation of occupied Palestinian land and theft of our water,” said a spokesman for the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
“Trade with such companies constitutes a major form of support for Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people, so we warmly welcome this principled decision by the Co-Operative,” the spokesman added.
The Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees also called on other major European retailers to follow the Cooperative Group’s example.