Israeli companies building Palestinian city are boycotting settlements


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Twenty Israeli companies that are helping to build a new Palestinian city in the West Bank have agreed to boycott goods and services from Israeli settlements.

In the contract the companies signed concerning the construction of the city of Rawabi, near Ramallah, they agreed not to use raw materials, products or services originating in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as in eastern Jerusalem or on the Golan Heights, which are also defined as settlements by the Palestinian Authority.

"The Seller is prohibited from using and/or employing goods and/or services and/or resources manufactured and/or originating from Israeli settlements towards achieving any of the objectives of this Agreement, or in relation thereto,” the contract reportedly reads.

"It is the responsibility of the company to verify that the origin of all the goods and services is not in Israeli settlements," the contract also states, according to Army Radio, which first reported the story on Tuesday.

The P.A. earlier this year announced a boycott of products and services originating in the settlements, including areas annexed by Israel, and said that it will prohibit Palestinians from working in the settlements beginning sometime next year.

Lawmaker Aryeh Eldad of the National Union has written a bill that would prevent Israeli companies that boycott settlement products from bidding for government tenders. His bill, which he will reportedly file in the Knesset this week, is supported by the Knesset Land of Israel lobby.  Other organizations have asked the attorney general and the finance ministry to amend the law regulating government tenders to reflect the same position, according to reports.

Sixty companies — Palestinian, Israeli and international — are working on building the new city; all have signed the contract, according to reports.

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