by Hillel Fendel
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In response to the Palestinian Authority's violation of the Paris Agreement, calls increase for the government to "charge" the PA for losses its boycott will cause Israelis.
The Knesset Economic Committee held a session Sunday on the recent decision by the Palestinian Authority to boycott all Jewish goods made in Judea and Samaria, supported by both PA head Mahmoud Abbas and PA Minister Salam Fayyad. MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) said that the government should call a counter-boycott on goods made in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.
The Paris Agreement of 1994 is the short name for the Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of Israel and the PLO Representing the Palestinian Nation [sic]. The agreement stipulates there be no trade borders between the Israeli and Palestinian Authority economies, and is predicated on fair business practices – such as no boycotts.
"Until this matter is straightened out," MK Katz said, "there must be a call issued from this committee room to the People of Israel to prefer [Israeli-made] products."
MK Uri Ariel, also of the National Union and he who initiated the session, proposed that the Prime Minister's Bureau coordinate the entire issue "since it deals with a large number of government offices."
Yesha Council head Danny Dayan said at the session, "The boycott called by the PA against Jewish-made products from Judea and Samaria is a clear violation of the Paris Agreement and a hostile act from every standpoint, on the part of the PA and its leaders. We must react immediately and sharply, just as we would react to a violent attack."
Last week, the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria called for Israel to withhold monies that are transferred to the PA under the Value Added Tax agreement in order to reimburse Israelis for losses caused by the boycott. (For story, click here).
MK Ariel proposed that a bill be passed that for every shekel that the PA costs Israel via boycotts, 100 shekels of VAT money be withheld from the PA in return.
Ayalon: No Talks
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Israel Our Home) said that Israel may have to stop all negotiations with the PA until the boycott is rescinded. He said "We do not differentiate between Jerusalem, Kiryat Tivon or Ariel. As far as we are concerned, this boycott is part of a continuous planned and budgeted campaign of incitement and delegitimization against Israel by the Palestinian Authority" He ventured that the continuation of the boycott would distance the Palestinians from their goal of acceptance to the World Trade Organization which considers free trade on of its principles. Israel has already approached the organization with its protest against the boycott.
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), also present at the session, demanded that Israel stop allowing the Arabs to unilaterally violate the Paris Agreements. "Israel must respond by confiscating PA monies and using them to compensate those who are damaged," Eldad said, agreeing with Dayan.
Israel has accused the PA of violating the Paris Agreement in other ways in the past. (IsraelNationalNews.com)