2. Israel’s settler colonies violate several UN resolutions and are continue to be the main obstacle to the peace processes;
3. With the view that the Israeli settlements are illegitimate and an obstruction to a just peace, the Palestinian Authority has accordingly initiated an official boycott of all Israeli settlement products in the occupied Palestinian territory;
4. In 2010 the Palestinian Authority issued a law, signed by President Mahmoud Abbas, banning Israel’s illegal settlement products, companies, relations and other activities with such illegal entities built in the occupied Palestinian territories occupied in 1967;
5. The Palestine Liberation Organisation and the State of Palestine is not opposed to the Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Palestinian officials and leaders respect and uphold the right of Palestinian civil society to initiate and lead local and global BDS campaigns against Israel as a means to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, paramount among which the right to self determination. Furthermore, the Palestinian leadership has always deeply appreciated the efforts of international solidarity groups and activists in South Africa and elsewhere, including those involved in the global BDS movement, to uphold international law and universal principles of human rights in supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and self determination. We are keenly cognisant that international solidarity , particularly boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) was one of the four pillars of the struggle against apartheid here in South Africa.
6. Last year in December 2012, a representative member of the PLO in his speech at the African National Congress (ANC) said: “The [international arm of the] South African struggle began with the boycott campaign of South African grapes and wine, likewise, the illegal Israeli settlements can be defeated by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)”. On the 14th of December Fatah (the organisation leading the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority) wrote an official letter to the South African President, Jacob Zuma, and members of the ANC communicating that “Fatah stands fully behind the BDS movement.”
7. Whilst the BDS movement is concentrated within civil-society, at a government level, the State of Palestine is calling on all countries to fulfill their obligations under international law by immediately, as a first step, ending all trade and relations with companies from or involved in the illegal Israeli settlements.
8. We welcome the recent decision by the European Union to ban financial relations with Israeli entities operating in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied 1967 Palestinian territories; the UK government’s recent instruction that no business must operate in East Jerusalem and in any actives related to the illegal Israeli settlements; the academic boycott resolution adopted by the American Studies Association; and the decision last week of the Dutch Water Authority, Vitens, to ends its relations with the Israeli state-operated water company, Mekorot, complicit in the illegal Israeli settlements.
Media Officer, Embassy of the State of Palestine to the Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 12 342 6411
Cell: +27 (0) 79 702 7303
Coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 11 492 2414
Cell: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
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