EU parliament calls for Israel boycott
The European Union Parliament has joined a growing international campaign to boycott Israel over its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In a letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on Friday, 29 members of the EU Parliament called for an action to discourage European firms from trading with firms based in Israeli settlements.
The EU lawmakers say any economic relations with Israeli firms involved in settlement construction will contribute to Tel Aviv’s violation of international law and human rights abuses.
“There are several examples of the many ways in which European businesses contribute to the existence and expansion of the settlements,” the letter read.
Israel, which is facing isolation over its aggressive policies against Palestinians, is mainly under fire over its ongoing illegal settlement projects.
The European Union has also blocked all grants and funding to any Israeli entity based in the illegal settlements.
The American Studies Association and several European education institutes have also announced a decision to boycott Israeli institutions and academics over discriminatory treatment of Palestinians.
The international boycott of Israeli products, or the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), has cost the Israeli government 30 million dollars so far.
The BDS campaign is part of international efforts to pressure Tel Aviv to stop illegal constructions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967.
Israel is reportedly pushing ahead with plans for approximately 2,000 new illegal settler units in six settlements in the occupied West Bank.