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British trade unions approve Israel boycott

JERUSALEM (JTA) — British trade unions approved a boycott against importing goods produced in some Israeli settlements.

The boycott was approved Thursday by the Trade Union Congress at its annual conference. The congress also called for an end to arms trading with Israel and for disinvestment from some Israeli companies.

According to the London Times online, the unions had considered a comprehensive boycott of consumer goods produced in Israel but reconsidered following "frantic behind-the-scenes negotiations."

The statement approved by the delegates read: “To increase the pressure for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories and the removal of the separation wall and illegal settlements, we will support a boycott of those goods and agricultural products that originate in illegal settlements through developing an effective, targeted consumer-led boycott campaign."

The boycott reportedly was proposed in response to Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter.

Israel’s industry, trade and labor minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said that "a boycott is wrong, as it will first and foremost hurt the Palestinian families who are employed in these factories. This is a unilateral attempt to promote political agendas with the use of economic weapons."
 

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