The Palestinian Authority government on Tuesday denied Israeli reports about backing away from a ban on Palestinian work in Israeli settlements. The Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper quoted Ghassan Khatib, the director of the Government Information Center as saying the government will continue to make efforts to reduce the number of Palestinian workers in Israeli settlements, taking into account the interests of the workers. He stressed that the Government is attempting to promote the domestic market and provide more job opportunities.
The Palestinian official stressed that the Authority is working gradually for a total boycott of work in the settlements. He, however, explained that the Government is well aware that it would not be easy to implement this boycott at this stage and a "step by step" approach is needed. Khatib reacted to a report in the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, which claimed that the Palestinian Authority decided to ease its ban on Palestinian work in the settlements because of its inability to find alternative jobs for the Palestinian workers. It should be mentioned that the Palestinian Authority has launched a campaign to boycott the products of Israeli settlements and preventing Palestinian workers from working there in order the protest against the issue of Israeli settlements.