PA: Importing settlement products is a war crime

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The Palestinian Authority said on Saturday that it has filed a complaint with the United Nations, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation against companies that do business with settlements.

The complaint, filed by the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was included in letters sent to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit, and Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

The complaint apparently refers to the United Arab Emirates, which recently signed agreements with settler companies to export their products to the Gulf state. The PA ministry, however, did not specifically mention the UAE in its complaint.

Last month, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan announced that he had signed four direct export deals between settlements and UAE companies.

The ministry said in a statement that the letters talked about the “negative and hostile impact of [the deals] on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, on top of which is the right to self-determination, and other economic, social and cultural rights.”

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It pointed out that companies and businessmen from member states have concluded trade agreements aimed at importing products “from Israeli colonial settlements located on the land of the occupied State of Palestine in violation of international law.”

According to the PA, “the first shipments of olive oil and honey products from the settlement company Tura Winery, located in the illegal settlement of Rehelim built on stolen lands belonging to the Palestinian village of al-Sawiya, and from Paradise Honey in the settlement of Hermesh, have arrived at their destinations.”

The PA said that the settlements “violate international law, United Nations resolutions – including Security Council Resolution 2334 – contribute to a war crime, and are a violation of the resolutions of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, all of which affirmed the illegality of settlements and their products.”

The authority called on the High Commissioner and other parties to address all institutions and individuals “to clarify these legal violations, which affect Palestinian rights, [are] considered an assault on them, and are consistent with colonial projects, and to call on them to go back on these violations.”

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The PA also called for taking “all necessary measures, including legal follow-up, and enact local laws to deter any individual, institution, or company that is proven to be directly or indirectly complicit in any commercial or other business with the colonial settlements, and to hold them accountable as they contribute to a war crime against the Palestinian people, their rights and resources.”


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