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PA might expand boycott on Israeli goods

Headline: “The [PA] Ministry of Agriculture: Tel Aviv will shoot itself in the foot if it stops importing agricultural produce from Palestine – will the [PA] government stop importing additional goods from Israel?”

“The PA is at the peak of a real financial battle with Israel. Even though it has accepted part of the tax money (without declaring an end to the crisis) [parentheses in source] (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.), the [PA] government’s trend towards financially disconnecting from Israel has begun to arouse the anger of the decision makers in Tel Aviv…

According to the Hebrew [Israeli TV station] Channel 13, the so-called Israeli ‘coordinator of government activities’ in the occupied territories Kamil Abu Rukun has informed the PA that ‘if it does not stop the PA’s financial boycott of the import of beef and sheep from the Israeli market, this will have ‘severe’ consequences, as Israel will soon stop putting agricultural produce from Palestine in its markets.’

Tareq Abu Laban, aide to the deputy minister of Financial Sector Affairs in the [PA] Ministry of Agriculture, told [the official PA daily] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: ‘Israel will shoot itself in the foot if it decides to stop importing Palestinian agricultural produce, because the Palestinian territories import from Israel close to six-times what [Israel] imports from Palestine in the field of agricultural produce.’

Abu Laban emphasized that the government’s intent to financially disconnect [from Israel] embarrasses the Israelis, and is liable to cause them to impose collective punishments on our people, but in the case of an Israeli boycott of the Palestinian produce, the equation in the agricultural field will necessarily be in favor of the Palestinians.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida learned from a senior source that the government will not submit to the Israeli threats, and that it is continuing to move in the direction of financial disconnection. [The source] added that currently [the government] is considering a decision to stop importing eight other goods.”

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.  The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.  During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]

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